Carnegie Clean Energy doubles loss but might finally be backing a winner

By Rachel Williamson for Stockhead

Saving the world doesn’t come cheap, as Carnegie Clean Energy investors have discovered.

Carnegie, backed by former AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick, spent almost $6 million this year on solar products, microgrids, and getting into the energy storage market.

Combine that with paying out some long service leave, acquiring a new, slightly more expensive director and the purchase of a battery company and you have the ingredients for a big full-year loss.

At $14.4 million that’s more than double last year’s loss of $6.3 million.

But a $13 million acquisition last year has advanced Carnegie (ASX:CCE) from promoting a futuristic CETO Wave Energy Technology to a business model that can make money.

While the wave tech (pictured above) is still on the company’s bucket list, buying Energy Made Clean a year ago is already proving itself on the balance sheet.

Revenue before this year had never topped $2 million. In 2017 it more than doubled to $4.8 million.

Energy Made Clean launched Carnegie into utility scale solar and battery storage, particularly in Western Australia where it has contracts with State power companies Synergy and Horizon.

A deal with Sumitomo Electric Industries and TNG Limited to work on growing the vanadium redox flow battery market in Australia came not long after.

Flow batteries can store energy for much longer than lithium batteries, but are significantly more expensive.

A deal with Lendlease to build battery, solar, and storage ­microgrids in Australia landed late last year as well.

These projects are either cash generating, or have the capacity to.

However, Carnegie’s venture into remote and off-grid power and battery storage is up against the lower-for-longer price of diesel, says one analyst who declined to be named.

With oil prices suppressing fuel prices, diesel generators aren’t looking so expensive compared to a solar array backed by a battery bank.

Carnegie closed Tuesday down 4 per cent to 4.4c, at the bottom end of its 3c to 9c trading range over the past year.

The company has been contacted for comment.

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