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Australia-Asia Sun Cable Project Wins Government Support

A massive solar project in northern Australia, which aims to provide energy to Singapore and Indonesia via an undersea cable, has won approval for investment

A massive solar project in northern Australia, which aims to provide energy to Singapore and Indonesia via an undersea cable, has won approval for investment.
The Australia-Asia PowerLink (Sun Cable) project has won endorsement from Infrastructure Australia, opening the way for government funding. Sun Cable image.


The massive Australia-Asia PowerLink project in northern Australia, which aims to provide solar energy to Singapore and Indonesia via an undersea cable, has won approval for investment.

Infrastructure Australia, an independent government agency, said on Friday the $14 billion (A$20 billion) Sun Cable project – as it is also known  – has been assessed and is ready for investment.

The advisory body said the project “will undoubtedly be challenging, but not insurmountable”. The developers had produced a strong business case and were continuing to develop the project, it said, plus economic activity from spinoff industries would support its construction and operation.

The company, based in Singapore, welcomed the decision, which is a significant boost for its fundraising efforts, as it opens the door to government funding.

“Today’s announcement by Infrastructure Australia affirms that the (project) is economically viable and will deliver significant benefits for Australia and our region,” Sun Cable chief executive officer David Griffin said in a statement.

Infrastructure Australia guides all levels of governments on projects and reforms relating to infrastructure investments across the country.


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World’s Biggest Solar Farm

The Australia-Asia Power Link project will consist of a a giant solar farm of up to 20 gigawatts, plus an energy storage facility of up to 30-40 GWh in the Northern Territory. Power will be relayed via a 750km transmission cable to Darwin, the port city in the far north, and then via a 4,200km subsea cable to Singapore.

Construction of the project, backed by Australian billionaires Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes among others, is expected to commence in 2024, with full operations aimed by 2029.

If successfully completed, it will be the largest solar farm – spread over a 12,000 hectare site, the largest battery and the longest underwater electricity cable anywhere in the world.


$31.2m for Solar Scientists

The change of government in Australia has given a lift to the renewable energy sector, with the Albanese government also extending backing for solar energy scientists seeking to boost panel efficiency and a move to more abundant materials.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced on Friday it will grant $31.26 million (A$45 million) over the next eight years to the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, based at the University of NSW in Sydney.

The money will support up to 60 scientists at the Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, plus the University of Sydney and the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO)’s energy group in Newcastle, two hours north of Sydney.

Albanese’s Labor Party, which won an election on May 21, has said it is looking to spend billions to upgrade the country’s electricity grid, installing hundreds of community batteries and focusing on renewable power.


• Jim Pollard with Reuters







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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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