Queensland’s CleanCo targets energy ‘duck curve’

Source: The Australian Financial Review

29th October 2019

The chief executive of Queensland’s new state-owned renewable energy company CleanCo said its generation assets will help flatten out the so-called “duck curve” on the energy grid and deliver lower prices when it begins trading this week.

CleanCo was established by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor government to fund and build its own renewable energy generation. But critics say it could leave taxpayers financially exposed and crowd out private sector investment.

CleanCo will take control of the state-owned existing renewable assets – a portfolio of 1170 megawatts including four hydro-electricity stations and the Swanbank E combined gas-fired power station – but also help facilitate the development of a further 1000 megawatts of new renewable generation by 2025.

It will also help the coal-rich state reach its ambitious renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030 – a target criticised by federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor as being likely to destabilise the grid.

CleanCo’s new chief executive, Maia Schweizer, a former McKinsey & Company management consultant who started in the role a few weeks ago, said her mandate from the state government was to lower wholesale prices and provide more reliability on the grid.

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