AGL Energy is set to invest A$295m ($221m) to develop a new 210MW reciprocating engine power station at its Torrens Island site near Adelaide, South Australia.

The new facility will be named Barker Inlet Power Station. Construction is due to begin in Q3, 2017, with full operation expected in the Q1, 2019.

Once completed, the station will replace two of the four Torrens A turbines, which are now 50 years old. They will be deactivated ready for replacement by AGL from 1 July 2019. The four Torrens B turbines of the existing site will continue to operate as normal.

AGL Energy Group's operations executive general manager Doug Jackson said: “AGL has identified reciprocating engines as the most flexible, efficient, and cost-effective synchronous generation capacity, well suited to the specific needs of the South Australian market.

"AGL has identified reciprocating engines as the most flexible, efficient, and cost-effective synchronous generation capacity."

“Barker Inlet Power Station will comprise 12 reciprocating engines capable of generating approximately 18MW of output each and operating at high efficiency with a lower heat rate than other forms of fast-start plant currently available.

“These units are capable of operating at full capacity within five minutes of start, providing a rapid response to changes in renewable generation supply.”

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The company also noted that the proposed plant is expected to be fuel efficient and less carbon intensive than the pre-existing plant.