Australia’s largest solar farm to power Singapore
Solar energy is experiencing a massive transformation in Australia as it is moving into a phase of mass rollouts of large-scale solar farms. World’s largest solar farm is to be built in Australia. This major renewable energy project is undertaken by Sun Cable’s Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL). It is Australia’s largest-ever construction project and is expected to be completed in 2027.
The AAPL plans to integrate three technology groups – the world’s largest battery, the world’s largest solar farm, and a 4,500km high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system from the solar / storage facility to Darwin, Singapore, and eventually Indonesia. The developers expect to provide one-fifth of Singapore’s electricity needs, replacing its increasingly expensive gas-fired power.
Sun Cable’s Australia to Singapore Power Link, is an example of the potential of solar for our trade partners overseas. Singapore is an important trade partner with Australia. Since Singapore’s well-regulated electricity market runs mostly on gas piped from Malaysia and Indonesia and shipped as LNG which is very expensive, there will be whole hearted acceptance of this new plan. This new project is good for the environment and very important for the development of business side with Singapore.
This ambitious AUD$20 billion project will be built at a remote cattle station in the Northern Territory, Tennant Creek roughly halfway between Darwin and Alice Springs. It will be located exactly at Newcastle Waters which is a township in Tennant Creek. This massive solar farm will be visible from space after its construction. Casino mogul James Packer’s father Kerry’s 10,000 Sq km property at Newcastle Waters, has been earmarked for this solar farm. It has been found as an ideal location for the project as:
• It’s on the Adelaide to Darwin rail corridor, so it is easy to transport the enormous amount of materials to the site.
• There’s plenty of sun and not many clouds, thus providing ideal conditions for energy production.
• costs of transmitting the electricity from there to Darwin is not too high.
• extremely flat land is ideal for construction of a solar farm.
The project plans to have a 10-gigawatt-capacity array of panels spread across 15,000 hectares. It will be backed by about 22 gigawatt-hours in battery storage to ensure power supply round the clock.
Parts of the electricity generated would be sent through Overhead transmission lines to Darwin and plug into the NT grid. The bulk would be exported to Singapore via 4,500km high-voltage direct-current transmission network, including a 3,800km submarine cable running through Indonesian waters. It plans to provide 20 percent of Singapore’s power demand, with plans to continue on to Indonesia.
Sun Cable’s Australia-ASEAN Power Link project has the potential to be an important part of this nation-building journey. This is a massively exciting project with world-changing potential.
“It is extraordinary technology that is going to change the flow of energy between countries. It is going to have profound implications and the extent of those implications hasn’t been widely identified,” said Sun Cable CEO David Griffin.
The project has won major project status on 29 July, from the Federal Government, which expects to help smooth the approval process. It gained the attention of many multi billionaire investors as well. The mining magnate and philanthropist Andrew Forrest and software tycoon Mike Cannon-Brookes have invested tens of millions of dollars in this project.
The company said the project is expected to provide 1,500 construction jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs during construction, with 350 long-term operational jobs spread between the solar farm site at Elliot and Darwin.
Sun Cable has initiated the project by evaluating its environmental impact .The project has been submitted to the Northern Territory’s Environmental Protection Authority for approval. Once the approval is secured, the land construction is expected to begin in late 2023, energy production by 2026 and export by 2027.
Along with other renewable energy projects, this project would help Australia in being a super power in a carbon constrained world.
The earnest Sun Cable project could serve as an exemplar of Australian ingenuity and leadership. This ambitious export plan could generate billions and make Australia the centre of low-cost energy in a future zero-carbon world.