South Australia’s new energy plan released

The minister said the plan would also create about 650 jobs, although it stopped short of guaranteeing the new gas plant would be up and running by next summer. Photo: Brendan Esposito
The minister said the plan would also create about 650 jobs, although it stopped short of guaranteeing the new gas plant would be up and running by next summer. Photo: Brendan Esposito

A $550 million energy plan unveiled by the South Australian government will aim to improve the reliability of statewide power.

Premier Jay Weatherill released details of the plan on Tuesday, March 14, saying the goal was delivering “reliable, affordable and clean” power.

The state government expects the plan to create 630 new jobs in South Australia.

South Australian Power for South Australians will ensure more of the State’s power is sourced, generated and controlled in South Australia.

The plan will include:

  • Building Australia’s largest battery to store energy from the wind and sun, part of a new Renewable Technology Fund that supports clean, dispatchable and affordable power
  • Building a government-owned 250MW gas-fired power plant to provide emergency back-up power and system stability services for South Australians, in the meantime procuring temporary back-up generation if necessary
  • Introducing new Ministerial powers to direct the market to operate in the interests of South Australians
  • Incentivising increased gas production to ensure more of our State’s gas is sourced and used in South Australia
  • Introducing an Energy Security Target to ensure our power system uses more clean, secure energy generated in South Australia
  • Using the Government’s purchasing power through its own electricity contract to attract a new power generator, increasing competition in the market

The new gas-fired power plant is budgeted to cost $360 million, $150 million will be committed to the SA Renewable Technology Fund and new PACE grants are worth $24 million.

Commenting on the plan, Mr Weatherill said coal-fired power stations closing across Australia, no “coherent” national energy policy and “ideological attacks on renewable energy” had led to under-investment in new energy sources.

“The privatisation of our state’s energy assets has placed an enormous amount of power in the hands of a few energy companies,” he said.

“These factors, together, have led to too little competition in our national energy market. It is a market that benefits the owners of the privatised assets, rather than the people and businesses who depend on this essential service.”

Premier Jay Weatherill. Stock photo.

Premier Jay Weatherill. Stock photo.

He said the plan’s goal is to make the state more self-reliant.

“Our plan will make our power supply more reliable, put downward pressure on prices and create jobs,” 

“In the longer term, South Australia will become more self-reliant for its power supply.

“As a state that has built its reputation on its clean green environment, this plan recognises that clean energy is our future.”

The South Australian Liberal party has not responded to the plan yet.

Visit the SA energy plan website for more details.

Victor Harbor Times