IMO (WA) Market Evolution Project


Market Systems


Perth, Western Australia


Independent Market Operator of Western Australia


2010 - 2012


The Independent Market Operator (IMO) is responsible for the operation and development of the Western Australian Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM), which has successfully operated since its inception in September 2006.

In 2009, two independent reviews identified issues around lack of competition in certain aspects of the WEM. This led the IMO to work with industry to develop a work plan to address these issues and further improve the market. The result of this work plan was the formulation of the Market Rules Evolution Plan and the initiation of the Market Evolution Program of work (MEP).

The MEP was succesfully completed in July 2012.


Project Outline

The MEP is an industry wide, large body of work focusing on the next steps for the WEM. PSC's main involvement in the MEP project related to reviewing the market system design, developing market systems software, and project and test management for the implementation of the "real-time" competitive markets for Balancing and Load Following Ancillary Services (LFAS).

PSC Services

Specific aspects of the project performed by PSC included:

  • Implementation of new competitive markets for Balancing and LFAS
  • Re-writing market calculations written in Fortran with Java
  • Replacing the de-supported business rules engine with a custom validation engine
  • Redevelopment of the Market Participant Registration user interfaces and implementation of work flow processes
  • Redevelopment of the Market Participant Interfaces (GUI and Web Services) to provide greater transparency and access to market information


The first significant challenge arose immediately upon project award with the need to ramp up the team to a full capacity of 14 staff within 3 months. Being a relatively new establishment in Australia, this task was achieved through a combination of international secondments from other PSC offices, local based staff and "hand-picked" local and international recruitment. Not only did PSC achieve the task in time, we built up an elite and specialist team which remained in place for the duration of the project, while receiving industry wide recognition for their project achievements.

Other Challenges

The tight Market commencement deadlines were also a significant challenge to the team, requiring market design, procedure and rule drafting to take place in parallel with market systems development. While not ideal, the approach proved to be the most effective means of ensuring that the IMO's market systems were ready for "go live" within days of formal approval of the Market Rule changes.

The key to overcoming this challenge was the close interaction between the market design and development teams and the use of more "agile" software development practises. Client pragmatism and design simplicity also greatly helped to achieve the seemingly impossible.

PSC Services

Services provided included:

  • Specialist electricity market systems design, analysis and development expertise
  • Project and Software development management
  • Detailed business and technical requirements
  • Automated software testing and build processes
  • Support and maintenance


PSC's contribution to this very significant project has been widely recognised in Australia, building PSC's reputation as a leading market systems provider in the Asia Pacific region.

Allan Dawson, CEO of the IMO said "PSC's involvement in the MEP project has significantly contributed to its success. The PSC team has professionally applied its expertise and knowledge to this project - gained from PSC's roles in other electricity jurisdictions - and has worked seamlessly alongside IMO staff to ensure the best possible outcomes."

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