Australian billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes as well as Andrew Forrest have invested A$210 million ($152 million) to finance the construction of an undersea cables link which will supply solar-generated power directly to Singapore through Down Under.
The new funding comes through Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures and Squadron Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forrest’s privately owned investment company Tattarang. This funding will assist in speeding up the development of the infrastructure that will span 4,200 kilometers known as”the Australian-Asia PowerLink (AA PowerLink), solar power energy company Sun Cable said in a announcement on Monday. This will be the longest straight current cable.
“Sun Cable’s vision will transform Australia’s capability to become a world-leading generator and exporter of renewable electricity and enable decarbonization,” Forrest Tattarang, chair of Tattarang Forrest, chairman of Tattarang. “This capital raise is a critical step in developing the Australia-Asia PowerLink.”
Forrest as well as Cannon-Brookes, are major backers of Sun Cable, which is building a solar farm within the deserts in Australia’s Northern Territory to supply electricity to Darwin by 2026 , and then to Singapore next year through an AA PowerLink. The project, worth $30 billion, aims to generate 20 gigawatts peak electricity according to what the company describes as the world’s biggest solar electricity generator which includes a battery that can store up to 42 gigawatts of energy.
“We can power the world with clean energy and Sun Cable is harnessing that at scale,” Cannon-Brookes chief executive of Grok ventures stated. “It’s the blueprint for how we can export energy around the globe. We support this vision 100%.”
Cannon-Brookes–whose fortune comes mainly from his stake in Atlassian, a collaboration software company he cofounded–has been doubling down investments in renewable energy and other sustainable projects. He is planning to invest an additional A$1 billion in this sector on top of the $1 billion he has already invested through Grok Ventures. He and wife Annie have made a commitment to donate $500 million to non-profit organizations looking to stop the impact of climate changes.
Forrest — the founder of the nickel producer Minara Resources and iron ore Fortescue Metals Group is known as the country’s most generous billionaire with a donation of A$655 million in the year 2019 to a range of causes.
The backing of Sun Cable’s key shareholders has allowed Sun Cable to scale up over the last four years, according to Sun Cable founder and CEO David Griffin. “We are buoyed by the level of support from our investors and key stakeholders including governments, off-takers, suppliers, and the communities in which we operate.”