Far North Queensland’s iconic hydro-electric power stations are officially part of the state’s new publicly-owned clean energy powerhouse.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham and CleanCo chief executive officer Dr Maia Schweizer and chair Jacqui Walters visited Barron George power station today to mark the changeover of Barron Gorge, Kareeya, and Koombooloomba power stations to the new generator, CleanCo.
“This is a milestone for renewable energy generation statewide, and for the Far North,” Dr Lynham.
“These three iconic power stations are now part of an organisation that will help the Palaszczuk Labor Government take Queensland forward to its renewable future.
“CleanCo has been tasked with bringing on an extra 1000 megawatts of clean energy over the next five years.”
Fire and Emergency Services Minister and Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said CleanCo’s mandate held potential for FNQ.
“Far North Queensland has excellent quality renewable energy resources and is well-equipped to be part of future growth,” he said.
Speaker and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said unlocking FNQ’s renewable energy potential meant more clean power projects and the jobs that flow from them.
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said CleanCo’s new presence in the Far North was clear evidence of the government’s commitment to a renewable future and affordable energy in regional Queensland.
CleanCo will also complete the Government’s Renewables 400 reverse auction, bringing up to 400 megawatts of solar and wind energy and battery storage into the market.
Binding bids are currently being assessed from 10 proponents, including four in Far North Queensland, to supply renewable energy and recommend projects will be announced early next year.
Dr Lynham said CleanCo would ensure the three existing FNQ power stations continued to generate clean energy well into the future.
“Barron Gorge and Kareeya were established 62 years ago, and Koombooloomba Hydroelectric Station has been operating for the past 20 years, and they have a long future ahead of them as part of Queensland’s ongoing renewable revolution.”
“With CleanCo’s other assets, they will help put downward pressure on prices through increased competition, and drive Queensland towards our target of 50 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030.”
Clean Co CEO Maia Schweizer, said Kareeya, Koombooloomba, and Barron Gorge stations operate in some of Queensland’s most beautiful and sensitive areas.
“CleanCo is committed to the land, environments, and local communities its assets call home, and it takes stewardship of these seriously,” Dr Schweizer said.
“We are looking forward to engaging with our communities in in Far North Queensland so they see real benefit from our operations in the local area.
“As Queensland’s publicly owned clean energy provider, we have a responsibility to ensure operation of our assets is socially, economically and environmentally viable.”