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Could A Subsea Solar Power Cable Link Australia To Singapore?

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March 14, 2022

By James Thornhill (Bloomberg) Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest have committed more cash to a A$30 billion ($21.9 billion) project to export solar power from Australia’s Northern Territory to Singapore via an undersea cable.

Sun Cable completed a A$210 million Series B capital raising with existing shareholders to accelerate the progress of the Australia-Asia PowerLink, as well as other projects in its portfolio, the company said in a statement Monday. The raising was led by Cannon-Brookes’ investment group Grok Ventures and Forrest’s Squadron Energy.

Sun Cable plans to lay a 4,200-kilometer (2,600-mile) high-voltage cable to supply enough electricity to meet 15% of Singapore’s demand from a giant solar and battery complex deep in the Outback. The project also plans to supply power to the northern Australian city of Darwin from late 2026.

The company now has sufficient funding to take it to financial close on the project by the end of 2023, David Griffin, Sun Cable’s chief executive officer, said in a phone interview. A formal process was underway with Singapore’s Energy Market Authority to obtain necessary import licenses, Griffin said, adding that he expected progress on that front by the end of this year.

“This brings Australia one step closer to realizing our renewables exporting potential,” Cannon-Brookes said in a statement. “We can power the world with clean energy and Sun Cable is harnessing that at scale.”

Transition Finance

Cannon-Brookes has been a vocal campaigner for the clean energy transition in Australia, which still gets around 60% of its power from coal, teaming up with investment giant Brookfield last month in a failed bid for generation company AGL Energy Ltd. The partners had planned to accelerate the closure of AGL’s coal-fired plants and replace them with renewables.

Forrest is looking to transform his iron-ore empire into a major clean energy producer over the next decade and has been scouring the planet for opportunities to invest in renewables and green hydrogen projects. © 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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