Sun Cable, a company based out of Singapore and Australia, is proposing to produce approximately a fifth of Singapore’s electricity through solar power, sourced from the Australian desert and transmitted via an underseas High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable stretched over 3,800 kilometers. A 15,000 hectare solar array near Tennant Creek in Australia’s Northern Territory will generate 10 gigawatt and be supported by 20-30 gigawatt hour battery storage. This is the largest solar farm under development in the world. Estimated investment for the project is around AUD 20 billion (USD 14 billion). Sun Cable is yet to raise the capital required for this ambitious project.
The Northern Territory (NT) government in Australia has awarded ‘Major Project’ Status to Sun Cable’s Australia-Singapore Power Link (ASPL). Major Projects are significant contributors to the economic development of the NT. A Project Development Agreement (PDA) is going to be negotiated between the NT Government and Sun Cable. The PDA will provide the framework for Sun Cable and the Northern Territory Government to work together in progressing the ASPL through the required approvals processes. Sun Cable will be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and a Territory Benefit Plan.
Eco-Business reported that Sun Cable has approached Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) and EMA will be meeting them to understand the details of their proposal. Currently, Singapore generates more than 95% of its electricity requirements from natural gas. Though the city-state is making significant efforts towards expansion of solar capacity, which increased from about 59 megawatt-peak at the end of 2015 to 226.4 megawatt peak by the first quarter of 2019, its contribution to the country’s energy mix remains miniscule.
(Sources: Eco-Business; Straits Times; Sun Cable Pte Ltd; Northern Territory Government Australia)