Tech and mining billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Dr. Andrew Forrest have stepped up their support for a $30 billion project to deliver solar power from Australia to Singapore, and led a $210 billion Series B round to Sun Cable.
based in Singapore solar cable’The $30 billion plan was first unveiled in 2019, with Cannon-Brookes and Forrest as cornerstone investors — the co-founder of Atlassian through his private family investment firm, Grok Ventures, and the founder of the Fortescue Metals Group through Squadron Energy, a subsidiary of his investment company, Tattarang.
The Sun Cable Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPowerLink) is a 17-20 gigawatt (GW) solar farm and up to 42 GWh battery storage near Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory, connected to the world’s longest submarine High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable system, approximately 4,200 km from Darwin to Singapore.
The project is expected to take six to seven years to complete and create more than 1,500 jobs in construction, 350 operational jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs.
Singapore generates 95% of its electricity from imported LNG. The solar project will provide up to 15% of the city-state’s electricity needs from 2028.
Sun Cable founder and CEO David Griffin said the new capital will support the development of the world’s largest intercontinental renewable energy system.
“We have developed a world-leading capability in four short years. We are pleased to have materially bolstered our resources with the support of all our shareholders, who are such strong supporters of our mission,” he said.
“This capital increase will enable the delivery of renewable solar energy from Australia to Singapore, advance our other multi-gigawatt scale projects and support the advancement of key enabling assets.
“We are supported by the level of support from our investors and key stakeholders, including governments, buyers, suppliers and the communities in which we operate.”
At the heart of the project is Sydney solar startup 5B, founded by Chris McGrath and Eden Tehan in 2013. The company developed new technology for portable, prefabricated solar panels, redesigning the supply chain to transform the way solar projects are delivered. simplify.
Cannon-Brookes’s new investment is part of a pledge he made last year to invest $1 billion through Grok in climate change startups, after recently supporting Infradebt, a specialist manager/financier of infrastructure projects for sustainable development. energy and battery storage projects, in a $200 million round.
Last week, he walked away from a $5.5 billion takeover bid for AGL after it was rejected a second time by the board of directors of the ASX-listed company.
The AAPowerLink project could generate up to A$2 billion in exports for Australia annually and a reduction in CO2 emissions of approximately 8.6 million tons per year, so Cannon-Brookes is excited about its capabilities.
“This brings Australia one step closer to realizing our renewable energy export potential. We can provide the world with clean energy and Sun Cable is using it extensively,” he said.
“It is a blueprint for how we export energy around the world. We fully support this vision.”
Forrest said Sun Cable’s vision will transform Australia’s ability to become a leading producer and exporter of renewable electricity and enable decarbonisation.