The World's Largest Clean Energy Infrastructure Will Power Singapore From Australia

A $22 billion project will build the largest clean energy infrastructure in the world.
Chris Young
A render of Sun Cable's in-development solar farm.Sun Cable/YouTube

A massive infrastructure project costing $22 billion will transport clean energy from massive solar farms approximately 3,1000 miles (5,000 km) to Singapore, a New Atlas report explains. The project, led by Australian firm Sun Cable, aims to start operating its high-voltage undersea cable in 2027. In order to do so, it will first have to build the world's largest solar farm and battery storage facility.

Despite its position as a prosperous financial hub in Southeast Asia, Singapore has scarce land resources on which to build solar farms. The country recently announced it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2030. At the time, the Singaporean government stated that it has set "ambitious targets, given Singapore's limited options for renewable energy."

The island state, which is less than half the size of the city of London, has already turned to floating solar farms to help meet its energy needs, though it still has a long way to go — it is one of Asia's biggest per capita carbon dioxide emitters, according to a recent report by AFP.

10 times larger than the world's largest solar farm today

That's where Sun Cable's Australia-Asia PowerLink project comes in. The enormous infrastructure project will create the "Powell Creek Solar Precinct" in Australia's Northern Territory on 12,000 hectares of unused land approximately 500 miles (800 kilometers) south of Darwin — it will be so large that it should be visible from space, once finished. Thanks to consistently sunny days in the region, the site will be able to generate a massive 17-20 gigawatts of peak solar power generation and will be home to a 36-42 GWh battery storage facility. This will make it 10 times larger than the largest solar farm today, the 2.245-GW Bhadla Solar Park in India.

The project will largely transport the power undersea, though approximately 500 miles (800 km) of the cable will travel overland to reach the sea from the new facility. Sun Cable says the Powell Creek Solar Precinct will provide up to 15 percent of Singapore's electricity, which will be the equivalent of powering approximately three million homes. The project will help the country to cut roughly 11.5 million tons of CO2 emissions on an annual basis. Construction is set to begin in 2023 for the project, and it will last for roughly four years before the massive solar power network goes into full operation.

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