Sun Cable submits plans for gigawatt-scale solar manufacturing plant in Darwin

Sun Cable gigawatt-scale solar manufacturing plant in Darwin

The Sun Cable consortium behind $26 billion, gigawatt-scale solar export plans has lodged a development application for the first phase of a solar manufacturing and assembly facility in Darwin.

The manufacturing plant, proposed for construction at the East Arm Darwin Business Park with access to port and rail facilities, would pilot a semi-automated production line for the Maverick solar array systems designed by Australian company 5B.

Sun Cable said phase one of the planned Maverick manufacturing and assembly facility would supply solar projects in the Northern Territory – perhaps more along the lines of the remote and off-grid industrial applications 5B had first envisaged for its modular, prefabricated solar technology.

Phase two of the development – which would be subject to a separate approvals process – would expand the facility to a scale able to supply the massive 14GW solar farm proposed for Sun Cable’s Australia-ASEAN Power Link project, and establish a logistics and distribution centre to transport material and equipment by rail to the proposed solar farm site.

The Sun Cable project – backed by billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest – is proposing to combine the 14GW solar farm with battery storage facilities of up to 33GWh and a high voltage direct current sub-sea cable of 3,750km linking to Singapore.

Sun Cable tapped 5B for the solar component of the project in 2019, impressed with the ability of the company’s pre-fabricated, modular plug-and-play Maverick technology to enable deployment much faster and cheaper than traditional solar installations.