Global engineers Bechtel and Hatch have landed project delivery roles on the ambitious plan to send solar power generated in sunny Australia 4,200km by undersea cable to Singapore.
The delivery team announced today also includes PwC Australia, for project advisory services, insurance company Marsh, for risk management, and SMEC, part of Singapore’s Surbana Jurong Group.
Initiated by Australian-founded renewable power company Sun Cable, the A$30bn project entails building one of the world’s largest solar farms in Australia’s Northern Territory and the world’s biggest battery (36-42 GWh), along with the world’s longest undersea high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable running on the ocean from Northern Territory capital, Darwin, to Singapore, passing through Indonesian territorial waters.
The so-called Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPowerLink) will supply electricity to Darwin and Singapore where, Sun Cable said, it will be capable of supplying 15% of the city state’s electricity needs from 2028. Its modelling suggests the link could reduce Singapore’s emissions by six million tonnes a year.
Australia has the highest average solar radiation per square metre of any continent in the world, Sun Cable noted.
As well as the undersea cable and a big solar farm in the Northern Territory’s Barkly Region, the scheme’s components include an HVDC overhead transmission line from the farm to Darwin; a voltage source converter (VSC) and utility-scale battery in Darwin; and a VSC and utility-scale battery in Singapore.
Construction is expected to start from late 2023, with first supply of electricity to Darwin in 2026 and first electricity to Singapore in 2027, with full-capacity transmission to Singapore by the end of 2028.
“This complex and ambitious project is unlike anything previously developed,” said Tom Seymour, chief executive of PwC Australia. “It will make a generational impact on Australia and Singapore.”
He added: “AAPowerLink is spread across three jurisdictions, including Singapore and Indonesia, and requires a new and innovative project delivery team model to get it done.”
Top image: The Lasseter Highway, Northern Territory. Australia has the highest average solar radiation per sq m of any continent in the world, Sun Cable said (Toby Hudson/CC BY-SA 3.0)