Australia’s largest renewable energy infrastructure project has been granted major project status with big plans to power the Northern Territory and Southeast Asia, with the potential to inject billions into the economy and create thousands of jobs.
Sun Cable’s proposed Australian-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL) would be one of the world’s largest dispatchable renewable electricity systems, supported by the world’s largest battery & solar farm in the Barkly region near Tennant Creek.
Industry Minister Karen Andrews said the project would create 1,500 jobs during construction, 350 ongoing jobs, as well as indirectly supporting around 12,000 jobs. It would also see the production of a new solar farm manufacturing facility.
“This project draws on Australia’s world-class solar technology and our high-tech manufacturing capability to export renewable energy on an unprecedented scale,” Minister Andrews said.
“Not only will this power link make Australia a world-leader, it will also create significant economic and employment opportunities here at home with about $8 billion of the $22 billion investment to be injected directly into Australia.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said projects like this would help maintain Australia’s long-standing position as an energy exporting powerhouse.
“As technologies change, we can capitalise on our strengths in renewables to continue to lead the world in energy exports,” Mr Taylor said.
Sun Cable chief executive David Griffin said the project would see Australia become a world leader in renewable electricity trade, generating approximately $2 billion worth of exports for Australia annually.
“This project is helping to grow a new industry, utilising intercontinental HVDC submarine transmission systems, to supply renewable electricity to major load centres in the Indo-Pacific and support the region’s low-emissions goals,” Mr Griffin said.
Major Project Status is the Commonwealth Government’s recognition of the strategic significance of a project to Australia. It provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single-entry point for Commonwealth Government approvals, project support and coordination, and help with state and territory approvals.
Sun Cable was founded in 2018 by the chief executive David Griffin, chief strategy officer Fraser Thompson and chief operating officer Mac Thompson.
Sun Cable concluded a significant capital raise in November 2019, which included lead investment from Mike Cannon-Brookes’s Grok Ventures and Andrew Forrest’s Squadron Energy.