Atlassian co-founder invests in $25 billion NT solar project

By on 9 October, 2019

5b’s Maverick PV panels. Image supplied by 5B.

Mike Cannon-Brookes confirms investment in $20 billion Australia-Singapore Power Link, the world’s largest solar plant, which will supply power to Singapore via a 3,750km undersea cable.

The extraordinary project will see the construction of a 10GW solar farm, the world’s biggest, near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, along with the world’s largest battery storage facility, with a capacity of 20-30GWh.

Spearheaded by Singapore firm Sun Cable, the enormous solar facility would supply Darwin and Singapore with stable solar electricity, transmitted via high voltage, direct current (HVDC) cable.

Atlassian co-founder, Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, announced his investment in the project via his family vehicle Grok Ventures, along with ‘a lot of other Australian entrepreneurs’, in an interview with the Australian Financial Review.

“I’m backing it, we’re going to make it work, I’m going to build a wire,” he told the paper (paywall).

Cannon-Brookes’ Twitter challenge to Elon Musk resulted in the building of a Tesla Big Battery to shore up the South Australian grid’s reliability issues. Cannon-Brookes indicated that the capacity of the Tennat Creek installation would be approximately 300 times the size.

The project was awarded Major Project Status by the NT government in July, signifying private sector-initiated projects that are significant to the Territory’s economic development — the project will create 1,000 jobs throughout construction and 300 operationally.

Australian PV manufacturer 5B has been chosen as the preferred technology provider for solar farm component of the mammoth project, with their ‘plug and play’ Maverick panel system.

“The fact that our Maverick solution is now driving a cost of solar energy so competitive that Australia can export that energy from the Outback to Singapore, is tremendously exciting and marks a significant tipping point for the energy market,” said Chris McGrath, 5B CEO.

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