- NT Government and Sun Cable enter into a project development agreement for the AAPL project
- The agreement provides a roadmap for both the signatories to work in partnership to finalize land tenure and commercial arrangements ahead of its financial close
- Project is expected to reach financial close by October 2023 post which construction will begin for it to come online in 2027
- It is expected to help NT export AUD 1 billion worth of solar electricity annually and make Darwin the hub of green manufacturing
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Things are moving forward for the ‘largest’ planned solar farm in the world with a 30 GW energy storage facility in Australia as project developer Sun Cable entered into a project development agreement with the Northern Territory (NT) Labor Government. On completion the Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL) project is touted to become the ‘largest’ solar farm and renewable energy system in the world.
The agreement, a statement from the NT Government explained, provides a roadmap for both the signatories to work in partnership to finalize land tenure and commercial arrangements ahead of the project’s financial close.
Sun Cable explained the project includes a solar and storage precinct near Elliott, in the Barkly Region, high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission connecting the precinct to the Darwin-Katherine Interconnected System (DKIS) and proposed Middle Arm Battery and a HVDC submarine link to Singapore.
Earlier the capacity of the solar farm was revealed as 10 GW, but on Sun Cable’s website, it is mentioned as 13.1 GW as the company states, “Renewable electricity will be generated by a 13.1 GW solar farm with approximately 33 GWh battery energy storage located near Elliott, NT. The electricity generated at the Solar / Storage facility will be transmitted 750km overhead to Darwin and then via a 3,750 km undersea high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission network to Singapore.”
Sun Cable will set up the solar farm and battery storage facility in Barkly region on 12,000-hectare space near Elliott. It is expected to create 1,500 jobs during construction and 350 ongoing positions once it comes online. By 2026, it will supply first electricity to Darwin and by 2027 to Singapore. The project is to supply up to 20% of Singapore’s electricity supply to the country.
The NT Government estimates the project to export AUD 1 billion worth of solar electricity annually while also opening up the region to become a green manufacturing hub in Darwin.
The project will enter construction soon after achieving financial close in October 2023.
“Today’s announcement is a big step forward for the Territory – for our energy security and our job security. This project will put the NT on the international map when it comes to renewables,” said Chief Minister Michael Gunner. “This project will transform the Territory into a renewable energy powerhouse, and cement our position as Australia’s comeback capital.
As part of the agreement with NT Government, Sun Cable CEO David Griffin said the company will prepare a Territory Benefits plan, including an Aboriginal workforce development plan and local participation strategy to maximize local jobs and procurement.
Back in November 2019, Sun Cable was reported to have achieved financial close on its maiden financing round for the 10 GW project which was led by Grok Ventures and Squadron Energy (see First Round Financial Close For Sun Cable’s 10 GW Project).
The technology partner for the massive project 5B Australia secured strategic investment from AES Corporation of the US in July 2020 (see US Power Generator Invests In Australian Solar Farm).