A PLAN to transform Port Augusta into a green energy hub has been lauded at the Civic Trust's annual Awards and Brickbats ceremony.
However, the State Government's axing of heritage advisory services in its May Budget is the stand-out among this year's brickbats.
The Civic Trust a public think tank that engages in social and environmental discussion said state heritage assets would suffer from longer response times, reduced access to advice for owners, a rise in inappropriate works and degradation of heritage significance.
"The decision to cease State Heritage Advisory Services disadvantages state heritage owners, puts additional pressure on local government and is likely to lead to a long-term devaluation of the state's history," said trust chairman Darian Hiles.
A blueprint to replace Alinta Energy's emissions-intensive Northern and Playford B brown coal power plants with renewable energy infrastructure was the inaugural winner of the opportunities category, endorsed as the state's most promising project.
It also took out the people's choice award.
Mr Hiles said the benefits of the project, including the construction of six solar thermal plants and 95 wind turbines, would be wide-ranging. "It would create 1800 jobs, alleviate the health impacts of coal, save five million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year and provide stable electricity prices and energy security," he said.
"Unfortunately the Government has decided not to proceed with the subsidy that was anticipated, which appears to be very short-sighted and needs to be redressed."
Alinta had carried out initial studies on building a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta but a September decision by the Federal Government to scrap plans to buy out the Playford B station has made the project financially challenging.
The company is seeking $65 million from the Federal Government towards the expected $200 million cost of building a 40-50 megawatt solar thermal plant.
Alinta chief executive Jeff Dimery will appear before a State Parliament select committee this month to talk about the proposal. In other Civic Trust awards, the Colonel William Light Award for excellence in urban design was awarded to the Anglican Parish of Glenelg extension.