Sun Cable, what will be the world’s largest solar farm, will deploy a whooping 10-gigawatt-capacity of solar panels by 2026 in the Australian outback. The US$14 billion mega energy project will take up about 12,000 hectares on a cattle station halfway between Alice Springs and Darwin. Although some of this large amount of energy will be enjoyed by Australians, the majority of it will be exported to Singapore, where it will meet 20% of the island state’s electricity demand. The project will also involve the longest power cable in the world, as well as the largest battery. The plan is that the network will transport current from the array at Newcastle Waters roughly 750 kilometers north, where it will be stored at the Darwin battery.
Once all the approvals are secured including environmental assessments for a project expected to take up around 120 square kilometers (almost 50 square miles) of land construction is expected to begin in 2023, with energy production commencing in 2026, and the first exported electricity could be flowing in 2027. If all goes as planned, the Power Link could be a watershed moment not only for solar power but for the clean energy industry as a whole, illustrating how renewable energy can be shared and relayed across international networks, spanning vast distances and even oceans.
Once the electricity reaches its ultimate destination, it’s expected to provide power for over 1 million Singaporeans and ultimately there are plans to provide power to Indonesians also. The Sun Cable farm will be so large once completed that it has been speculated that it will be easily visible from space; it will spread out across some 20,000 football fields’ worth of photovoltaic panels. In July, Sun Cable was awarded the ‘major project’ status by the Morrison government, which essentially means it will fast-track the project.