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Outback's giant solar farm powers on with rich list support

Chris McLennan
By Chris McLennan
Updated March 14 2022 - 9:37pm, first published 6:00am

The world's largest solar project which is located in the Australian outback has won even more support from its billionaire backers.

Rich listers Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest have helped finance another $210 million capital raising for the $30 billion project.

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Sun Cable wants to use sunshine from a remote Northern Territory cattle station to power Singapore through a subsea cable.

Sun Cable has already secured rights to 12,000 hectares of pastoral land at Newcastle Waters Station near Tennant Creek.

The project aims to supply about 15 per cent of the island nation's power needs from more than 4000 kilometres away by the end of the decade.

Sun Cable also proposes to build a 20-30 gigawatt hour battery storage facility near Tennant Creek.

BIG PICTURE: The staggering plans are to export sunshine from the NT outback to help power the island nation of Singapore. Picture: Sun Cable.

Sun Cable has lifted its potential capacity from 14 gigawatts to between 17 and 20 gigawatts.

Sun Cable has completed a $210m capital raising with their existing shareholders to fund the development work of the company.

Once the technology is sorted, the company aims to start building in a few years.

Sun Cable founder and chief executive officer David Griffin said: "We have developed a world leading capability in four short years.

"We are thrilled to have materially strengthened our resources with the support of all of our shareholders, who are such strong advocates for our mission."

He said the new funding would enable the delivery of renewable solar power from Australia to Singapore, advance our other multi gigawatt scale projects, and support the progress of key facilitating assets.

Aussie outback's giant solar farm still powering on

"We are buoyed by the level of support from our investors and key stakeholders including governments, offtakers, suppliers, and the communities in which we operate," he said.

Dr Forrest said Sun Cable's vision said the capital raising was a critical step in developing the project.

"This brings Australia one step closer to realising our renewables exporting potential," Mr Cannon-Brookes said.

Sun Cable also plans to provide renewable power to Darwin via an overhead high voltage transmission line before the cable takes off underwater to Singapore.

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If built, the scheme will provide total carbon emissions abatement estimated at 8.6 million tonnes of CO2 each year as well as up to $2 billion in exports for Australia each year, similar to Australia's dairy export industry.

The project has received major project status from the Federal government and the NT government.

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Chris McLennan

Chris McLennan

National Rural Property Writer

ACM national rural property writer based in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. Career journalist. Multi award winner.

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