The Australia–Asia PowerLink, the world’s largest solar farm and battery storage facility, will cost an estimated UAS 30 billion and harness the sun’s energy in Australia’s Northern Territory. With a 5,000 km transmission system, it will supply solar power to Darwin and Singapore with reliable and competitively priced renewable electricity.
By Joanne McIntyre
Sun Cable is building one of the world’s largest renewable energy infrastructure projects, the AUD 30+ billion Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPowerLink), which will supply renewable electricity to Darwin and Singapore.
A unique opportunity
A significant energy transition is underway in the Indo-Pacific, and the share of energy delivered by electricity is growing quickly. In Southeast Asia, energy demand is increasing at an average of 6% per year and is forecast to grow 60% by 2040. Demand for renewable electricity is accelerating due to its low cost and environmental considerations.
Australia has the world’s highest per capita solar resource in the G20 and the second highest in the world. There is a unique opportunity to export
large volumes of renewable energy, supporting regional energy needs and sustaining economic growth. The AAPowerLink is the first of its kind in Australia and the region, and it will leverage Australia’s unique solar assets, combined with technologies in HVDC, batteries and solar, to supply the rapidly growing energy demand in Darwin and Singapore. As the world’s largest solar energy infrastructure project, the AAPowerLink will integrate a 17-20 GWp solar farm, a 36-42 Gwh battery, and over 5,000 km of overhead and subsea transmission lines.
An Integrated Project Delivery Team will develop and deliver Sun Cable’s APowerLink project, comprised of Bechtel, Hatch, Marsh, PwC Australia and SMEC (a member of the Surbana Jurong Group).
World’s largest solar farm, battery and undersea cable
3.2 GW of power generation, 200 km of HVDC submarine cable 800 km of overhead transmission lines 12,000 Hectares of solar arrays
15% Of Singapore’s electricity supply
Affordable, large-scale, dispatchable renewable electricity
In Singapore, electricity is a major input to its highly industrialised economy. Accessing low-cost, reliable electricity over the medium to long term is critical to the country’s long-term planning and economic competitiveness.
Singapore is currently reliant upon gas for approximately 95% of its electricity generation, so AAPowerLink provides an opportunity to build security, stability and resilience to the network. The AAPowerLink will be capable of supplying up to 15% of Singapore’s total electricity needs.
In Darwin, affordable and large-scale renewable energy will support the transformation of the Northern Territory economy.
The AAPowerLink is predicted to herald the start of a new renewable export industry in Australia. Sun Cable’s development of the AAPowerLink project will position Australia, Singapore and other Asian nations as regional renewable energy hubs and create significant economic and sustainable energy opportunities for decades to come.
The AAPowerLink project has the potential to create thousands of jobs, creating opportunities for local businesses and suppliers, as well as innovation and investment in Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.
While the project is working with existing technology, the scale of the project creates solid opportunities for innovation and enhancements to drive optimisation across the AAPowerLink system, not only to deliver this project, but to create a model for others.
The project is targeting financial close at the start of 2024 and construction will commence in 2024.