Could solar energy sharing between Australia and Singapore be a model for other regions?

(Eco Business, 24 Jul 2019) An ambitious plan is underway for a massive solar farm to supply one-fifth of Singapore’s electricity from 3,800km away. Experts weigh in on details to be ironed out before the world’s longest sub-sea cable connection becomes reality.

An ambitious plan to export solar electricity from Australia’s Northern Territory to Singapore could transform the latter’s energy landscape—eroding the longstanding predominance of natural gas in its fuel mix—and be a model for other regions of the world.

The project by Singapore-based developer Sun Cable promises to be the world’s largest solar farm, with 22 million panels spread over 15,000 hectares near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. It could supply 20 per cent of Singapore’s electricity within a decade, Sun Cable told various media outlets last week.

The solar farm would generate 10 gigawatts of power and have battery storage. It will supply electricity to Darwin through overhead transmission lines and transmit three gigawatts to Singapore via a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable running nearly 4,000km beneath the sea, allowing Singapore and the Northern Territory to have a more diverse electricity supply, Sun Cable said.

Community consultation for the project will begin later this year, Sun Cable announced on its website.

Its chief executive David Griffin told The Straits Times the firm needs to raise capital for the A$20 billion project (US$14 billion) but was confident “there are deep pools of capital for long-term infrastructure assets”.

The project is significant on several levels, analysts told Eco-Business.

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Eco Business, 24 Jul 2019: Could solar energy sharing between Australia and Singapore be a model for other regions?