The Australian outback is set to become home to the world’s largest solar farm, with the project slated to provide power to places as far away as Singapore.
Sun Cable, which has received backing from the Australian government as well as several billionaire investors, says it plans to construct the 120 square kilometre farm in a remote patch of outback in the Northern Territories that’s currently home to a cattle ranch.
The 10 gigawatt solar farm will cost an eye-watering $20 billion to build, with Sun Cable hoping to begin construction by 2023. Once finished, it’s said the farm will be large enough to be seen from space. And while the farm will initially be used to provide sustainable energy to communities in northern Australia, the hope is that by 2027, the power generated by the farm will begin to be exported to other countries.
According to Sun Cable CEO David Griffin, the project plans to construct two giant high-voltage undersea cables, with two-thirds of the farm’s power to be exported to Singapore. That level of energy would be enough to cover around a fifth of Singapore’s electricity consumption, The Guardian reports.
While a remote patch of desert more than 2,000 miles away might not seem like the most obvious location to put Singapore’s power supply, Sun Cable think it’s hit upon the perfect location for its farm.
It’s on the Adelaide to Darwin rail corridor, which is brilliant for our logistics given the enormous amount of material we’ll have to transport to the site.
It’s a bit of a balancing act too, because it’s far south enough to get away from the main patch affected by the wet season, so it’s a steady solar resource throughout the year, there’s plenty of sun and not many clouds.
Sun Cable is hoping to win support for its project by pitching the solar farm as a way to create several thousand jobs in the region. It’s also working on plans for a solar training scheme for members of local Indigenous communities.
The Australian government has long considered solar power as a potentially major way to increase the country’s energy production and exports. And with the country currently responsible for up to 5% of global emissions, major projects like this could have a significant impact in reducing Australia’s carbon footprint.
If Sun Cable’s project goes to plan, its solar farm will be almost three times as large as the current biggest solar farm, located in northern China.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Topics: Science, Australia, Now, singapore, Tech, Technology