Green Grid To Connect Asia
Sun Cable, funded by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Twiggy Forrest, is building partnerships to develop the giant Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPowerLink). AAPL consists of up to 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 42 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy storage on a 12,000-hectare site in the Northern Territory. This was announced at Singapore International Energy Week along with the white paper “Connecting Asia: One region, one grid.” This is the Asian Green Grid Network. A green grid will transmit carbon-free power generated from solar, hydro, and wind via a cable link to Singapore.
“AGGN seeks to advance regional green grids, that is carbon-free grids composed of renewable resources. The white paper forecasts that by achieving 15% grid interconnection by 2040 an estimated 3,335 TWh could be traded in the Asia Pacific annually. That trading estimate translates to $760 billion (USD 493 billion) and would abate 3,070 MT of carbon dioxide every year.”
“According to the white paper there is no shortage of technical challenges facing the cross-border green electricity grid that could transform Asia. These challenges include ‘voltage improvements to minimize transmission losses in high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable through finding ways to support dispatch ability and energy security through high density energy storage systems.’”
Hence the need to seek partnerships and collaboration with universities and government agencies. In Australia, the project will be supported by Infrastructure Australia, which should lead to finance from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
“The partners and collaborators of the AGGN include Surbana Jurong; The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR); the National University of Singapore Faculty of Science; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore); Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT); University of New South Wales; University of Adelaide, James Cook University, and Charles Darwin University (CDU).”
The initial plan is to export power to Singapore by cable, then expand the grid to other ASEAN countries. Construction on the largest renewable energy infrastructure projects in the world is expected to start in the Northern Territory in 2024.
To paraphrase the words of Crocodile Dundee: That’s not a power grid, this is a power grid!