Jakarta, Indonesia: Dubbed as the world’s largest solar farm, the Indonesian government has approved the subsea survey permit for the Australia-Asia Power Link (AAPL) project, a major infrastructure project that will supply world-class renewable electricity to Darwin and Singapore.
Sun Cable made the official announcement on September 23rd, sharing that the Indonesian government has recommended the power link’s transmission cables be routed through Indonesian waters and the approval of a subsea survey permit covering a route that has been the subject of extensive consultation and evaluation with multiple government authorities.
Since late 2020, ESC has been engaged as the environmental consultant supporting Sun Cable to secure an environmental permit and water location permit for the subsea installation plus developing environmental and social impact assessment documents for international stakeholders. ESC is proud to have contributed to this significant step through leading initial engagement with the Maritime and Fisheries Department at Central and Provincial Government levels, working with Sun Cable’s team to evaluate environmental and social constraints and opportunities linked to the various corridors being discussed with the Indonesian Government, and ensuring this process links seamlessly into the steps required to secure environmental and location permit approvals.
The solar farm, estimated to cost at least AUD$30 billion, will include a 20-GW solar farm with panels spread across 15,000 hectares with battery storage in the Northern Territory, Australia, and supported by a 22-GWh battery to enable a 24/7 HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) transmission system to Darwin and Singapore. Sun Cable, the developer behind the project, hopes it can produce up to 15% of Singapore’s electricity needs.
Construction is expected to start in late 2023, with solar energy to reach Darwin in 2026 and Singapore the following year. From 2028 onwards, the project could lower Singapore’s emissions by 6 million tonnes per year, helping the country achieve its 2030 solar target.
“This is a significant milestone for the AAPowerLink and brings us closer to generating and transmitting affordable, dispatchable renewable energy to Darwin and Singapore, via the world’s largest renewable energy transmission network,” said David Griffin, Sun Cable CEO.
“Yesterday’s announcement was the culmination of extensive engagement with the Indonesian government, of which ESC was proud to play its part through initiating consultation with key ministries, including the Maritime and Fisheries Department. Additionally, ESC staff spread across our offices in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore all contributed to detailed constraints and opportunities evaluation and mapping. Importantly, securing the survey permit leads onto the next key steps in the environmental impact assessment and permitting processes,” said Toby Nugent, ESC Indonesia Country Director.
“Concurrent to this announcement, ESC’s experienced team were spread across four provinces finalizing the detailed planning for public consultation as the first step for regulatory environmental impact assessment and finalizing documentation to be lodged in support of the marine location permit. It’s a project of many moving parts and unique challenges and we look forward to working with the Sun Cable team to the end goal of securing all regulatory approvals in Indonesia”
Through ESC’s extensive experience in offshore projects, regional presence, and deep knowledge of regulatory frameworks, we were able to provide support to contribute to securing the necessary environmental permits and ESIA development covering Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia.
If you would like to learn more about ESC and how we can solve your complex environment, safety, and sustainability challenges contact us.
Photo courtesy of Gatra.com