Queensland sets up CleanCo

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The Palaszczuk Government has moved on its plan to restructure its two publicly-owned electricity generation companies into three, creating a strategic portfolio of low and zero emissions power generation assets designed to reduce power prices, known as CleanCo. The commitment is a part of the Powering Queensland’s Future plan, unveiled in June 2017.

The mission of the new state-owned renewable electricity generator will be to operate Queensland’s existing renewable and low-emissions energy generation assets and develop new renewable energy projects.  It is also expected to help place further downward pressure on electricity prices.

“Preliminary analysis indicates that CleanCo should reduce wholesale electricity prices on average by around $7/MWh, which is expected to translate to an estimated $70 per annum saving for the average Queensland household,“ Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Palaszczuk has confirmed in her statement that the government is making an initial injection of $250 million to progress the development of CleanCo, as part of the government’s plan to maintain majority ownership of generation assets.

With an eye on the state’s ambitious Renewable Energy Target of 50% by 2030, the government has also established a Just Transition Group, which it says will ensure that the energy transition in Queensland was just and equitable for affected workers and communities.

The creation of CleanCo, which will build, construct, own and maintain renewable energy generation, is also expected to translate into jobs.

“This will continue supporting jobs in our renewable energy industry, starting with 1000 MW of new renewables like solar, wind and hydro,” Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said.

According to Trad, CleanCo is expected to start trading in the NEM by mid-2019, subject to receiving regulatory approvals.