SAPGen plans $650m, 422-megawatt Summerfield gas power plant at Tepko, near Mannum, South Australia

A South Australian company has revealed plans to build a $650 million gas power plant, one of the largest in South Australia, near Mannum.

SA Power Generation (SAPGen) has filed plans for the gas plant, and an associated solar farm and grid-scale battery, with the State Planning Commission.

More than 120 local jobs would be created during its construction, which would begin in August take at least 18 months.

The company estimates the Summerfield power station - named for the nearby Lutheran church - would employ 57 people when complete, and add $7.5 million to the regional economy each year.

Its capacity to produce 422 megawatts of electricity would make it the third-largest power station in the state after Torrens Island and Pelican Point, capable of powering tens of thousands of homes.

A site on Hoff Road at Tepko was chosen for the development because of its proximity to high-voltage power lines and a key gas pipeline.

In a promotional video, the company suggested the plant would help reduce electricity prices by introducing more competition to the South Australian market.

AECOM Australia principal planner Tom Hately said the Summerfield Power Station would help stabilise the market as well, given the state's relatively heavy reliance on wind power.

"South Australia has been decarbonising its electricity sector much faster than other states," he said in a submission to the planning commission.

"This faster transition has had a considerable impact on the market, including impact on pricing, system stability and reliability.

"The increased uptake of renewable generation in South Australia, together with recent and upcoming retirement of baseload generation within the NEM (national electricity market), will neccessitate further investment in dispatchable generation."

Summerfield's ability to fire up within two seconds would fill that need, his submission said.

He suggested the power plant's environmental impact, including on air quality, would be "minimal".

It is not the first time a gas power plant has been proposed at Tepko.

The public was consulted about another plant, to be called Cherokee, in 2010, but that plan never materialised due to falling demand for electricity and the rise of rooftop solar panels.

An unnamed developer submitted another bid to build a government-funded gas plant at Tepko in 2017, but then-Premier Jay Weatherill's government chose to install diesel generators at Elizabeth instead.

This story $650m gas power plant at Tepko would be one of SA's biggest first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.

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