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Australia Fast Tracks Gigantic Solar Plus Battery Project To Transport Power To Singapore

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

Australia’s federal government has announced that it will fast-track an AUD 22 billion 10GW/30GWh solar/battery project that will send 24-hour renewable electricity to Singapore, which will provide up to 20% of Singapore’s electricity needs via a 4500Km high-voltage direct-current cable (HVDC) out of which 3711Km of cable will be under the sea. 


First, the electricity will travel 500-800Km to the city of Darwin to contribute to their renewable energy goals; the rest will be exported to Singapore.


Sun Cable estimates that the project will be built by 2027. The project will consist of the world’s largest array, biggest battery, and longest power cable, providing 3GW of dispatchable electricity.


The most economical route laying the cable will be from Darwin, across the Timor sea south of East Timor, passing through Indonesia either between Bali and Lombok or Lombok and Sumbawa, entering the Java Sea and into Singapore’s Changi area.


For the most part, the proposed route will be shallow, less than 600 feet or 700 meters deep, although a 1200Km section south of East Timor at the Timor trough has waters over a mile deep, making cable laying harder, this will be a significant challenge to overcome.


 The Java sea and the Singapore Strait, where the cable will pass through are some of the busiest waterways in the world. The Java sea has pipelines, fishing trawlers, and communication cables passing through it and the Singapore Strait has lots of ships pass through it each year. As a result, the engineers would have to trench or bury the cables at a depth of 2-5 feet in these busy areas to protect the cable from being damaged by boat anchors and fishing nets.


Seed funding for the privately-owned Sun Cable corporation has come from a pair of Australia’s richest men: Founder of Atlassian, the software company, 40-year-old Mike Cannon Brookes, and the other 59-year-old Andrew Forest, former CEO of Fortescue metals.


Australia’s minister for energy and emissions reduction, Angus Taylor, has granted “major project status” to developer Sun Cable’s Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL) located in Australia’s Northern Territory means it will fast-track the project with support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency.


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