SA energy plan sparks international interest

More than 30 expressions of interest have been received to build South Australia’s 250MW government-owned gas-fired power plant.

The $360m plant is part of the South Australian Government’s $550m energy plan to improve the state’s energy security and allow the state to have more control of its energy generation.

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the gas plant would provide stand-by power for South Australia in times of emergency to prevent blackouts occurring during peak demand periods, such as during heatwaves.

“The plant will be running all the time to help stabilise the grid,” he said.

“Importantly, this is the first government investment in new generation since the Liberal Party privatized ETSA in the 1990s.”

Premier Jay Weather said in two weeks, 31 expressions of interest have been from a dozen countries, including Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, France, Finland, Spain and the UK.

Meanwhile, 90 expressions of interest were received to build “Australia’s largest battery”, which is also part of the state’s energy plan.

“In just one month, we’ve completed two separate expression of interest processes, and we’ve been encouraged by the strong response from across the country and around the world,” Mr Weatherill said.

“We’ve also legislated new powers to take back control of the energy market.

“Our plan is all about self-sufficiency. It’s about South Australia standing on its own two feet.

“We’ve made strong progress, but there is still more to do as we continue to take charge of our energy future.”

Since the energy plan was released on March 14, the government has made strong progress on each element of the plan.

Gas exploration grants worth $24m have been awarded to five projects, with another round of grants currently open for applications.

New ministerial powers were introduced to Parliament on March 28 and passed through the Upper House on April 11, with the new laws coming into effect on April 26.

As part of the plan, an Energy Security Target will come into effect on July 1.