Sun Cable’s NT solar project receives a $210 million funding boost from backers

by | Mar 15, 2022 | News Brief | 0 comments

Sun Cable’s billionaire backers have contributed $210 million to capital raising efforts for the proposed Australia-Asia PowerLink project, bringing the total raised to $250 million for the massive $30 billion project.

The expansive solar project’s 4,200-km undersea cable would transport massive amounts of solar electricity produced outside Tennant Creek to Darwin and other markets, including Singapore. As part of the $30 billion plan to create a massive solar farm in Northern Australia, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest have reportedly contributed $210 million to the project, bringing the investment to roughly $250 million to build the project.

This investment by the two businessmen accelerates the company’s intentions to investigate similar factories in Australia and elsewhere. The NT solar project would consist of a 12,000-hectare solar precinct with 17-20 GW of solar power and 36-42 GWh of energy storage to allow 24/7 dispatchable electricity in Elliott, Northern Territory.

Sun Cable CEO David Griffin said that the money “will carry us all the way through to the financial closure of the Australia-Asia PowerLink, it will also enable us to speed the development of our larger portfolio”, as reported by the Guardian.

The company anticipates that the AAPowerLink project will generate up to $2 billion in annual exports, supporting more than 1,500 construction employment, 350 active jobs, and 12,000 indirect jobs.

Sun Cable has also agreed to work with a formidable group of international engineering and advisory firms, including US-based engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) behemoth Bechtel, North American transmission specialist Hatch, professional services firms Marsh and PwC Australia, and Australia-based engineering outfit SMEC, to help it complete the project.

Mr Griffin added “that the business intends to investigate potential ‘multi-gigatonne’ solar projects in Australia and abroad, as well as other intercontinental power lines, using the know-how gained over the last four years”. More information will most likely be released “several months from now.”

Mr Cannon-Brookes, the CEO of Atlassian, who took part in the project’s investment, said that the financing took Australia “one step closer to fulfilling our renewables exporting potential” while also laying the groundwork for future initiatives. “Clean energy has the potential to power the planet, and Sun Cable is harnessing it at scale.”

According to Andrew Forrest, who also raised the capital investment for the project, “Sun Cable’s aim will change Australia’s capabilities to become a world-leading producer and exporter of renewable power and allow decarbonisation. I’m honored to be a key investment in Sun Cable, its staff, and its ambition.”

 

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