An Australian outback cattle farm is to host the world’s largest solar farm that will supply power to more than a million people in Singapore.
The 10 gigawatt farm in the Northern Territory will span 12,000 hectares and be visible from space by the time it is generating electricity in 2027.
It will supply up to a fifth of Singapore’s electricity needs via the world’s longest undersea cable nearly 2,300 miles long from a giant solar battery on the Darwin coast.
The A$20bn (£15bn) project from developers Sun Cable is being built on land that once belonged to the father of casino-owning billionaire James Packer.
Construction is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed by 2026, and Sun Cable expects it to generate about 350 permanent jobs.
The project was given the backing of the Australian government, which has thrown its weight behind solar generation in recent months, in the face of criticism over its strong relationship with the coal industry and contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions.
The country is now deploying solar and wind up to five times faster than the EU, US, Japan and China, according to a recent study by the Australian National University.
Sun Cable’s high profile backers include one of the country’s richest mining magnates Andrew Forrest and tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes.
An environmental assessment by the company suggests the project could have “significant impacts”, according to the reports, because of the amount of land it will require to be cleared.
The owner of the farm, Consolidated Pastoral Company, will receive some payment for the land use by the solar farm, which is expected to take up around 1pc of the cattle station.
It is also hoped the project will boost the cattle station by providing fresh infrastructure including access roads.