Sun Cable, Australia's Northern Territory sign deal for mammoth power link
US$16 billion project to provide solar energy to Darwin by 2026 and Singapore from 2027
3 Feb 2021 | Michael Marray

Sun Cable and the Northern Territory Government (NTG) have signed a project development agreement to facilitate the Australia-Asean Power Link (AAPL), which will help the territory develop one of the world’s largest renewable energy systems.

Singapore-based Sun Cable expects the AAPL to reach financial close in late 2023, with the first electricity to Darwin by 2026 and Singapore from 2027. The project development agreement was signed on January 21.

The AAPL will comprise a 10GW photovoltaic (PV) solar farm and a 30GWh battery storage facility in the Northern Territory, plus a 4,500-kilometre high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system via Darwin to Singapore and eventually Indonesia.

Sun Cable is the project sponsor, and the project cost is estimated at US$16 billion.

The AAPL was granted the major project status by the federal government in July 2020, a year after being recognized as a major project by the NTG.

“This project will transform the territory into a renewable energy powerhouse," comments Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner.

 “This will provide affordable, reliable energy to support industrial growth in Darwin, as well as supplying up to 20% of Singapore’s electricity needs,” says Sun Cable chief executive officer David Griffin.  The AAPL will generate and transmit dispatchable, competitively priced, renewable energy at scale, he adds.

The company has engaged Darwin company EcOz to prepare its environmental impact statement for the project.

The AAPL project would comprise the world’s biggest PV solar farm, the world’s biggest battery storage facility, and one of the world’s longest HVDC submarine cables, connected to the precinct to the Darwin-Katherine Interconnected System.