In most cases, renewable energy resources are installable far from the places that people live. For instance, wind resources in the United States exist in Texas and Oklahoma’s outskirts and the less populated regions of Central Midwest. Solar resources, on the other hand, can be developed in desert regions with scarce habitations. The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) revealed that the establishment of renewable energy facilities to extract electricity would demand more transmission cables to minimize the national grids’ pressure in different regions.
Interests have been growing over the connection of renewable energy resources with populated areas through transmission lines, but the costs have halted further action. The infrastructure development projects require high capital, but they need the energy regulators and landowners to authenticate these projects’ implementation. The latest multibillion project tagged Australia–ASEAN Power Link is the most rigorous that the stakeholders are keenly observing. This project will bring together the biggest solar farm, the mega battery developer, and the most extended undersea electricity connection lines. Sun Cable will be supplying the connection cable in this $16 billion proposal.
The project will be running through 30000 acres of Australia’s Northern Territory and generate over 10 GW of solar energy. This electricity quantity is equal to that which would be evolving from over eight million rooftop PV panels. The battery company will be instrumental in developing the battery storage facility that can host 30 GWh to facilitate the disbursement of renewable energy 24/7. The storage facility will be over 100 times bigger than the Hornsdale Power Reserve that hosts 193.5 MWh worth of electricity. This facility will also exceed the Japan Buzen Substation, which provides 300 MWh of electricity.
The project estimates to utilize over 800 km of power line carrying 3 GW and supplying it all over the Northern Territory of Australia. The undersea lines which will be transmitting the power from there will run about 3700 km with 2.2 GW all the way to Singapore. These transmissions will become more extended than the 720 km high voltage, direct current (HVDC) coming from Norway to Britain, and will be in action come next year.
Hopefully, this mega project will begin the supply of electricity before 2028. The project will develop over 1500 employment opportunities in the initiation phase and an additional 350 jobs when operations take shape.
Since these projects are growing interest among energy developers, it is crucial to understand the expenses that come with transmitting renewables through long distances. The capacity to transmit electricity from renewables for long distances through areas like the Sahara Desert will help electrify remote areas. In conclusion, although the project is mega and will bring significant advantages, more challenges will come with it. Successfully overcoming these challenges will help in the transmission of electricity to the remote areas and minimize the outbreak of bushfires due to overdependence on the national grid.