Australian solar power company Sun Cable has submitted a development application for phase I of a proposed solar array manufacturing assembly facility for Darwin in the Northern Territory (NT) of the country, saying it will provide opportunities to supply future solar projects in the NT once it comes up.
In a statement issued, Sun Cable said this application lodged with the Development Consent Authority (DCA) proposes the authorities to set up a manufacturing facility that would pilot a semi-automated production line, manufacturing the Maverick solar array systems of 5B that will help build industrial and utility scale solar farms across Northern Australia.
Phase II of the development will expand the manufacturing facility to manufacture Maverick solar array systems for the Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL) project that Sun Cable is to build here, power from which will be supplied to Darwin and Singapore. Phase II, which will establish a logistics and distribution center to transport material and equipment by rail to the proposed solar farm, will be subject to a separate approval process.
Sun Cable further shared that it will work with ICN-NT to undertake an expression of interest (EOI) process in the local market to select a delivery partner for the project.
Solar technology innovator 5B Australia is Sun Cable’s technology partner for the massive AAPL project and will provide its pre-wired, pre-fabricated solar solution, Maverick for the same (see Australia’s 5B Tech Partner For 10 GW Solar Project).
Backed by Australian billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest, the project is reported to have already achieved financial closure for its initial stage of investment (see First Round Financial Close For Sun Cable’s 10 GW Project).
“The provision of renewable energy to the NT will support the establishment of sustainable development precincts and power new low emissions manufacturing businesses,” it added.
For the uninitiated, Sun Cable has proposed to build the AAPL with a 14 GW solar farm and a close to 33 GWh battery energy storage system (BESS) near Elliott in the Barkly region of NT. It will also add a 750 km high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line from the site to Darwin, connecting the precinct to the Darwin-Katherine Interconnected System (DKIS) and proposed Middle Arm Battery in Darwin. The job also involves laying a 3,750 km subsea cable system to Singapore.
Project capacity of the proposed solar farm is expanding with every new release Sun Cable comes out with, from 10 GW initially to 13.1 GW in January 2021 when it signed a project development agreement with the NT government, and now 14 GW (see Project Development Agreement For AAPL Solar Farm).
Sun Cable believes the 70-year, $26B project will create about 1,500 jobs during construction and 350 jobs during operations, while injecting AUD 8 billion ($into the local economy and generate over AUD1 billion in exports per annum. It has currently engaged Darwin based EcOz to prepare an environmental impact statement for the AAPL.