Renewable energy startup Sun Cable has entered voluntary administration in what it described as a “difficult” decision following “the absence of alignment with the objectives of all shareholders.”
“Whilst funding proposals were provided, consensus on the future direction and funding structure of the company could not be achieved,” a company statement read.
The Australian described the news as a “spat” between software billionaire and Sun Cable chairman Mike Cannon-Brooks and Fortescue iron-ore magnate turn green hydrogen enthusiast Andrew Forrest. Whether or not the two major players have had a “spat” is not clear, but Cannon-Brooks’ optimism surrounding the company’s future suggests entering administration is primarily a strategy to get around the impasse.
Cannon-Brookes said he was confident the cornerstone Australia-Asia PowerLink project, which proposes to build up to 20 GW of solar and 42 GWh of battery storage in the Northern Territory, providing power to Singapore via unprecedented undersea cables, still has a future. “I’m confident it will play a huge role in delivering green energy for the world, right here from Australia. I fully back this ambition and the team, and look forward to supporting the company’s next chapter.”
Likewise, Sun Cable founder and CEO David Griffin described the megaproject as remaining “well placed for completion.”
FTI Consulting has been named as Sun Cable’s voluntary administrator. FTI Consulting’s Christopher Hill, David McGrath and John Park will now work with Sun Cable’s management to determine the company’s future.
Recapitalisation or the sale of the business appear to be likely moves.
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42 GWh of battery storage would cost about 10 billion USD.
And it would consume a lot of rare materials. One should try to find another solution.
Perhaps with stored hydrogen and hydrogen driven gas turbines.
If you would do the same with pumped hydro it would cost only about one third of the 10 billions.
The Swiss pumped hydro station ‘Nant-de-Drance’ (-> Youtube) that went into production in 2022 has 900 MW of power, 20 GWh of energy capacity and did cost about 2 billion (2 Mia.).
With 20 GW of solar you might want to deliver constantly 6 GW to Singapore.
A 6 GW submarine cable from Australia to Singapore cannot be realized at a reasonable cost. You just need too much metal and/or you loose too much energy (about 1% per 100 km).
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