Sun Cable, a venture backed by Australian billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest, has revealed the staggering scale of its proposed solar and battery project – the biggest of its type in the world in a bid to supply electricity to Singapore through sub-sea cable.
According to its environmental impact statements the project envisages up to 20GW of large-scale solar deployment at Powell Creek, north of the township of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory of Australia, supported by up to 42GWh of battery storage.
There will also be a new 6.4GW transmission line running at up to 600kV for the 800kms trip to Darwin, reports Renew Economy.
Sun Cable also plans to provide power to Singapore via a 4,200km sub-sea cable.
The Sun Cable document says the project will reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 480 million tons, equivalent to the average electricity used by over 2.5 million Australian homes each year over the project lifespan.
It will also create 1,750 construction jobs in the Australian Northern Territory.
"The Solar Precinct will occupy approximately 12,000 ha of land, with an additional 269 ha for two access roads to the Stuart Highway, and an airstrip," the document says.
Sun Cable hopes to begin construction of the solar precinct of Australia in early 2024.
It envisages the project will have a life span of 70 years, although the solar component may need to be replaced or repowered after 40 years, and the battery component after 15 years.
"The renewable energy generated by the AAPowerLink has the potential to drive economic development in the NT, by providing a significant source of low-cost electricity," the report said.
"The type and scale of development that could occur is difficult to predict, but it is reasonably foreseeable that mining and manufacturing-based industries could be made more feasible by having access to this resource."
It also noted that changes to groundwater levels due to groundwater extraction could occur at the solar precinct during construction, and said it will hire a hydrogeologist to determine bore locations and sustainable rates of extraction.