The Northern Territory Government and Sun Cable have signed the Project Development Agreement for the $22 billion Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL).
The project will see up to $8 billion into the Territory, which will host one of the largest solar farm and renewable energy systems in the world.
Signing the Project Development Agreement provides a roadmap for the NT Government and Sun Cable to work in partnership to finalise land tenure and commercial arrangements ahead of the project’s financial close.
The Barkly region has been chosen as the ideal location for a solar farm and battery storage facility, which will be built across 12,000 hectares near Elliott. The facility will capitalise on the close access to road and rail.
Once operational, power from the site will be available 24/7, with the solar farm supporting the 30-gigawatt storage facility.
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The project is expected to create 1500 jobs during construction and 350 ongoing positions once operations begin.
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the move is a big step forward for the Territory.
“This project will put the NT on the international map when it comes to renewables,” he said.
“It will also see hundreds of Territorians find work in the Barkly and Darwin regions during the construction and operational phases.
“Territorians are already seeing the benefits of this investment, with Sun Cable hiring more than a dozen Darwin firms for initial works.
The AAPL will have the capacity to provide a significant amount of renewable energy for the Territory, as well as up to 20 per cent of Singapore’s electricity supply by 2027.
Once up and running, it’s estimated the project will export $1 billion dollars’ worth of solar electricity each year.
NT Renewables and Energy Minister Eva Lawler said the agreement shows strong confidence for investing in the Northern Territory and investing in renewable energy.
“Locals can look forward to affordable energy that’s reliable and renewable by the end of the decade,” she said.
“Our Government is doing whatever it takes to keep Territorians in jobs, and ensure the economy is continuing to tick over.
“We look forward to the next steps of this exciting project.”
Sun Cable CEO David Griffin said Sun Cable seeks to generate and transmit dispatchable, competitively-priced, renewable energy at scale.
“This will provide affordable, reliable energy to support industrial growth in Darwin, as well as supplying up to 20% of Singapore’s electricity needs,” Griffin said
“The Australia-ASEAN Power Link project will help the Northern Territory make deep cuts to its emissions intensity by decoupling economic growth from carbon pollution.”
Construction for the project will begin immediately after financial close in October 2023.