Work to start on $650 million Summerfield power plant in early 2021

The gas, solar and energy storage project will go ahead after winning development approval.

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A $650 million power plant will be built in the Murraylands after winning development approval from Planning Minister Stephan Knoll.

Energy company SAPGen plans to build the hybrid gas and solar plant, and a battery bank, on Hoff Road at Tepko.

The Summerfield Power Plant's capacity to produce 410 megawatts of electricity will make it one of the largest in South Australia, capable of powering 550,000 homes.

It will also be a major employer, creating about 100 full-time jobs on completion and 700 during the construction phase.

Work will start on the plant early next year.

Summerfield is due to begin producing electricity, and putting downward pressure on SA's power prices, in 2022.

SAPGen director Ben Lee said he was delighted that the project had received final approval.

“Moving ahead with this project represents the culmination of a long-standing commitment to build a secure energy system as the market transitions to renewables,” he said.

“This is a great project for South Australia with immense economic benefits and expectations for a downward shift in electricity prices when the new capacity enters the South Australian market.”

Importantly, GE Australia's Sam Maresh said, it would also help stabilise the power grid by providing “firming capacity” – the ability to instantly dispatch power to smooth out any peaks or troughs in the state's supply.

“We are confident that the technology used to power the station is world-class, (a) highly efficient technical solution,” he said.

The State Planning Commission discussed the project back on April 30 and Mr Knoll gave the final green light on June 8.

The plant was named for the nearby Lutheran church.

Image: SAPGen.

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