Home / World News / Billionaires Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes tip more cash into Australia’s solar export vision

Billionaires Andrew Forrest and Mike Cannon-Brookes tip more cash into Australia’s solar export vision

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest have committed more cash to a $30 billion project to export solar power from the Northern Territory to Singapore via an undersea cable.

Sun Cable completed a $210 million Series B capital raising with existing shareholders to accelerate the progress of the Australia-Asia PowerLink, as well as other projects in its portfolio, the company said on Monday. The raising was led by Mr Cannon-Brookes’ investment group Grok Ventures and Mr Forrest’s Squadron Energy.

Sun Cable plans to lay a 4200km high-voltage cable to supply enough electricity to meet 15 per cent of Singapore’s demand from a giant solar and battery complex deep in the Northern Territory. The project will also supply Darwin when it starts operating in 2027.

The company now has sufficient funding to take it to financial close on the project by the end of 2023, David Griffin, Sun Cable’s chief executive, said.

A formal process was under way with Singapore’s Energy Market Authority to obtain necessary import licenses, Mr Griffin said, adding that he expected progress on that front by the end of this year.

“This brings Australia one step closer to realising our renewables exporting potential,” Mr Cannon-Brookes said in a statement. “We can power the world with clean energy and Sun Cable is harnessing that at scale.”

Mr Cannon-Brookes has been a vocal campaigner for the clean energy transition in Australia, which still gets around 60 per cent of its power from coal, teaming up with investment giant Brookfield last month in a failed bid for generation company AGL Energy. The partners had planned to accelerate the closure of AGL’s coal-fired plants and replace them with renewables.

Mr Forrest is looking to transform his Fortescue Metals Group iron ore empire into a major clean energy producer over the next decade, and has been scouring the planet for opportunities to invest in renewables and green hydrogen projects.

Bloomberg

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