The Northern Territory Government has passed legislation that will facilitate the world’s biggest solar and battery storage project, the $30 billion Sun Cable Australia-Asia PowerLink project.
The project – which will comprise up to 20GW of solar and 42GWh of battery storage, as well as a major transmission line, converter site and sub sea cable to Singapore – will transform the Top End into a renewable energy powerhouse.
“The AAPowerLink will transform the Territory into a green industrial hub and establish a new energy export industry for Australia,” the government says. “This will have positive flow on benefits for Territory businesses.”
The project has been backed by billionaires Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes, and the new legislation confirms the “major projects” status that was announced in 2019.
The government said the Solar Project (Australia-Asia Power Link) (Special Provisions) Bill 2022 will provide certainty for the project, and clarify and streamline existing processes, increase project certainty, and support Sun Cable to secure project financing.
“The Australia-Asia PowerLink will be built here in the Territory. It will be a major economic driver, and it will put the Territory on the international map when it comes to renewables,” Minister for Territory Development Eva Lawler said in a statement.
The Sun Cable project is described as the world’s “largest and most technologically advanced renewable energy transmission system.”
It includes the world’s largest solar farm and battery in the Barkly region, plus a converter site and transition facilities at Murrumujuk, near Gunn Point.
Sun Cable said the passage of legislation is another significant milestone and will facilitate the pathway to the project, which it says will also unlock large-scale green industry development in the Territory, and lower emissions.
The sheer scale of the project was underlined in the voluminous environmental impact statement released last month, which came after Forrest and Cannon-Brookes led a $210 million fund raising for the project.