August 30 (Renewables Now) - The Queensland government announced on Thursday it is establishing the state's new, publicly-owned renewable electricity generation company called CleanCo.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government is making an initial injection of AUD 250 million (USD 182m/EUR 156m) to progress the development of new, public renewable energy generation assets. The new company, which will become Queensland's third publicly owned energy generator, is expected to start trading in the National Electricity Market (NEM) by the middle of 2019, subject to getting regulatory approvals.
"This is part of our plan to maintain majority ownership of generation assets as we transition to 50 per cent renewable energy to deliver secure and affordable energy," Palaszczuk added.
According preliminary analysis, CleanCo is expected to reduce wholesale electricity prices on average by AUD 7 per MWh, saving an average Queensland household an estimated AUD 70 a year.
Deputy premier Jackie Trad said CleanCo will have a strategic portfolio of low and no-emission power generation assets, and will build, own and maintain renewable energy generation capacity. "This will continue supporting jobs in our renewable energy industry, starting with 1000MW of new renewables like solar, wind and hydro," Trad added.
The Palaszczuk government had promised the creation of CleanCo prior to its re-election last year.
Meanwhile, the state government is setting up a Just Transition Group to help provide a pathway for workers and communities affected by the energy transition.
(AUD 1 = USD 0.730/EUR 0.623)