Australia-Asia Power Link

The Australia–Asia Power Link (AAPowerLink) is a proposed electricity infrastructure project that is planned to include the world's largest solar plant, the world's largest battery, and the world's longest submarine power cable. A solar farm in Northern Territory, Australia, will produce up to 20 gigawatts of electricity, most of which will be exported to Singapore and Indonesia by a 4,500 km (2,800 mi) 3GW HVDC transmission line. A 36-42 GWh battery is planned to store energy to levelize energy availability as sunlight varies throughout the day.[2]

Australia–Asia Power Link
LocationNorthern Territory
Commission date2027 (projected)[1]
Construction costAU$30 billion
Owner(s)Sun Cable
Solar farm
TypeFlat-panel PV
Power generation
Nameplate capacity17-20 GW
External links

The AAPL is being developed by the Singaporean firm Sun Cable and is projected to begin construction in mid-2023, with operation starting in early 2026 and completion by late 2027.[1] The project will add AU$8 billion to the economy of the Northern Territory, then exporting AU$2 billion of electricity every year.[3][4]


The solar plant would be in the Northern Territory near Elliott in the Barkly Region, using photovoltaic modules designed by Australian company 5B and prefabricated at a proposed factory in Darwin.[2] The solar panels will cover 12,000 ha (30,000 acres) in an area with some of the best solar resources in the world.[5] An 800 km (500 mi) overhead power line will transmit 3 GW to Darwin, where it will transfer to a 3,700 km (2,300 mi) 2.2 GW undersea power line to Singapore.[6] This undersea cable will be the longest undersea cable in the world, exceeding the existing longest undersea power cable by a factor of around five.[7][8]

Batteries at the solar array in Darwin and Singapore will provide load-balancing for continuous daily dispatch.[9]

Singapore produced 95% of its electricity in 2015 from natural gas, but seeks to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.[10] The AAPL could provide about 20% of Singapore's electricity, with no carbon dioxide generation, reducing Singapore's emissions by 6 million tonnes per year.[6]

In September 2021, it was announced that there would be further expansions to the proposed size of the project, from 10GW to 20GW capacity, and from 20GWh to 36-42GWh of battery storage, with a new estimated construction cost of $30 billion dollars. Forecasts suggest up to $A2 billion in exports, 1500 jobs in construction, 350 operational jobs, and 12,000 indirect jobs will be created across Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.[11]


The project was initially called the Australia–Singapore Power Link, as the power line will initially connect those two countries. It was later renamed to Australia-ASEAN, and again to Australia-Asia, as it may also bring electricity to Indonesia.[12][13]

Sun Cable intends to secure all financing by late 2023, beginning construction the following year. It is expected to cost AU$30 billion (US$22.6 billion).[14][11][2] Initial investments came from billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest.[15][16]

In July 2019, the project received major project status from the Northern Territory government, ensuring local support in development and construction.[9] The Australian government awarded the same status in July 2020, expediting construction by facilitating coordination and permitting.[6] Singapore has not yet permitted the project,[6] but benefits for it include long-term electricity price stability, the potential to become a hub for trading renewable electricity in the Southeast Asian power grid,[17] and meeting its agreements to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement.[18]

Undersea surveying will take place in 2020 by Guardian Geomatics.[19]

A project development agreement was signed between Northern Territory and Sun Cable in January 2021, providing for commercial partnership.[4]

An Integrated Project Delivery Team (IPDT) composed of multi-disciplinary international partners was announced in October 2021, including Betchtel (Project Delivery), Hatch Ltd (HVDC Tramission), Marsh (Risk Management), PwC Australia (Project Advisory) and SMEC (Solar Generation System).[20]

Construction is projected to require 1,000 jobs, and operation will have 300 jobs in the Northern Territory.[9]

Australia is the world's largest exporter of coal. The AAPL, along with the proposed wind and solar Asian Renewable Energy Hub in the Pilbara, would make it a "green energy exporting superpower."[21]

It is expected to deliver first supply of electricity to Darwin in 2026, Singapore in 2027 with full capacity by end of 2028.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Power Generation | Singapore | Sun Cable". Sun Cable. 24 November 2020. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Reuters (2020-07-30). "Australia Fast Tracks Approval Process for $16 Billion Solar Power Export Project". Reuters. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  3. ^ a b "PV - Sun Cable announces global expert team to deliver the Australia-Asia PowerLink project". Renewable Energy Magazine, at the heart of clean energy journalism. Retrieved 2021-10-21.
  4. ^ a b "Major milestone for world's biggest solar project". pv magazine Australia. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  5. ^ Morton, Adam (2019-07-14). "'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  6. ^ a b c d Collins, Leigh (29 July 2020). "Australia to fast-track world's largest solar-battery project with grid link to Singapore | Recharge". Recharge | Latest renewable energy news. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  7. ^ "Norway and UK complete world's longest undersea power cable". The National. Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  8. ^ "Work begins in Lincolnshire on world's longest subsea power cable". The Guardian. 2020-07-13. Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  9. ^ a b c "Australia-Singapore Power Link awarded Major Project Status". Utility Magazine. 2019-07-22. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  10. ^ Tan, Audrey (2015-07-21). "From The Straits Times Archives: Singapore opts for cleaner energy sources". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  11. ^ a b Vorrath, Sophie (2021-09-23). "Sun Cable: World's biggest solar and battery project expands again, gets Indonesia approval". RenewEconomy. Retrieved 2021-10-21.
  12. ^ Morrison, Kevin (30 July 2020). "Canberra backs Australia power link to Singapore". Argus Media. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  13. ^ "World's biggest clean energy project to power Singapore from Australia". 29 September 2021. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  14. ^ Reuters (2021-10-20). "Bechtel, Hatch among firms to work on Australia-Asia PowerLink". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-10-21.
  15. ^ "Australian billionaire to fund Singapore subsea cable project". Power Technology | Energy News and Market Analysis. 2019-09-25. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  16. ^ Keating, Cecilia (Nov 20, 2019). "Billionaires lead funding of 10GW Australia-Singapore power link". PV Tech. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  17. ^ Pearlman, Jonathan (2019-07-21). "Aussie solar farm project aims to power up S'pore too". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  18. ^ Mah, Paul (November 26, 2019). "Reducing the carbon footprint of Singapore". Data Centre Dynamics. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  19. ^ Chin, Neo Chai (May 29, 2020). "Cable route surveys to begin for Australia-Singapore solar sharing project". Eco-Business. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
  20. ^ Vorrath, Sophie (2021-10-20). "Sun Cable names "powerhouse" to deliver world's biggest solar and battery project". RenewEconomy. Retrieved 2021-10-21.
  21. ^ Macdonald-Smith, Angela (2020-01-01). "Solar export vision to be put to the test". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 2020-08-05.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit