What about changing this slightly so that starting areas are chosen based on turn order (i.e. Starting areas are chose right before the build phase, AFTER the first power plant auction phase).
This to me seems a little more strategic(better), as your first power plant decision also weighs in on your turn order for selecting a starting area.
For me, it's the other way round. Depending on the playing areas, the value of the low numbered plants (including the right to place first) is different. So this information should be available when placing your bid.