Legislation Introduced For Queensland’s CleanCo

Queensland's CleanCo

Image: Wivenhoe Power Station

Progress on Queensland’s new publicly-owned renewables-focused electricity generator continued yesterday, with related legislation introduced to State Parliament.

A Palaszczuk Government 2017 election commitment, CleanCo involves re-structuring Queensland’s two publicly-owned electricity generation companies into three. Establishing of the new company kicked off in August last year, it was incorporated as a public company limited by shares in October and officially became an entity in December.

To involve “low and no emission power generation assets”, the Government is now touting it as ” all renewable”, but one of its initial assets will be CS Energy’s Swanbank E gas-fired power station (385MW). The other initial assets will be Stanwell Corporation’s Wivenhoe Power Station (pumped hydro storage – 570 MW/10 hours), along with Barron Gorge (66MW), Kareeya (88MW) and Koombooloomba (7.3MW) hydro plants.

“CleanCo will be fully operating with its own generation assets this year and that means more jobs for more Queenslanders,” said the state’s Energy Minister, Dr. Anthony Lynham yesterday. “By keeping our electricity assets in public hands, we can deliver Queenslanders the cheapest power, the most reliable supply, and a steady transition to renewable energy and a strong renewables sector.”

Passing of the legislation introduced yesterday will ensure CleanCo employees and those transferring from the other generators will have the same protections as other government-owned corporation employees. It will also mean CleanCo can be designated as a State Electricity Entity subject to government directions.

Before it can commence operating, CleanCo will also need to acquire an Australian Financial Services License and other regulatory approvals.

In other recent CleanCo news, its first two key executive appointments were announced last week. Former Infigen Energy managing director Miles George is CleanCo’s interim chief executive officer and Geoff Dutaillis is executive general manager – transition. Mr. Dutaillis’s experience in the renewables sector includes a stint as CEO Australia at Wind Energy Holding Co Ltd. He was also previously Chief Operating Officer at Infigen Energy.

“These two highly-experienced executives are already on deck, leading the smooth establishment of the publicly-owned generator with Chair, Jacqui Walters,” said Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad.

1GW Of New Renewables By 2025

CleanCo is to build, construct, own and maintain 1000MW of new renewables such as solar power, wind energy and hydro projects by 2025. This is being supported through an initial funding injection of $250 million.

Preliminary analysis by the Queensland Government suggests CleanCo will reduce wholesale electricity prices by around $7/MWh on average, translating to an estimated $70 per annum saving on electricity bills for the average Queensland household.

CleanCo will also work with other existing generators to investigate opportunities for involvement in the state’s renewable energy future.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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