Australia-Singapore solar power link secures billionaire backing

Solar farm. Author: Alan Levine.

November 21 (Renewables Now) - Firms owned by two of Australia’s richest people have led an investment in the company behind a 10-GW solar-plus-storage project in Australia that includes a power export cable to Singapore.

Grok Ventures, owned by billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and his wife Annie, and Squadron Energy, established by mining magnate Andrew Forrest, have each participated in an oversubscribed capital hike at project company Sun Cable Pte Ltd. The latter’s CEO David Griffin was cited by local media as saying that the company had secured less than AUD 50 million (USD 34m/EUR 30.7m), though still in the tens of millions range. The raised funds will finance early development work for the project.

“This is a massively exciting project with world-changing potential. We have the resources, the ingenuity and the drive to get it done - we just have to put it all together. If we nail this, we can build a new export industry for Australia, create jobs and set our economy up for the future," Cannon-Brookes said in a press statement.

The AUD-20-billion-plus scheme involves the construction of a 10-GW solar power complex near Tennant Creek in Australia's Northern Territory, coupled with about 22 GWh of energy storage capacity. It will supply electricity to both Darwin and Singapore via a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable.

In July, the Sun Cable project won Major Project Status from the Northern Territory government. It is expected to achieve financial close in late 2023 and initiate commercial operations in 2027.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.680/EUR 0.614)

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