The story of Port Augusta’s power stations is the story of the energy industry in South Australia.
It began in 1943, when commercial coal mining began in Leigh Creek. The South Australian government wanted to develop a self-sufficient energy supply following coal shortages during the Second World War.
The Electricity Trust of South Australia (ETSA) needed a station with boilers capable of burning Leigh Creek coal, and commissioned the Playford Power Station in 1954. The Playford Power Station brought the region an economic and population boost, and helped Port Augusta achieve city status in 1964. The larger Northern Power Station was commissioned in 1985.
After ETSA was privatised in 1999, the power stations changed hands several times. They became affiliated with Alinta Energy in 2007 when former owners, Babcock & Brown Power, acquired Alinta. The name officially changed in 2010.