Andrew Forrest, founder of Global Rapid Rugby, attends a match between the Asia Pacific Dragons and … [+]
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Australian billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest have invested A$210 million ($152 million) to bankroll the construction of an undersea cable link that will deliver solar generated electricity to Singapore from Down Under.
The fresh funding will come from Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures and Squadron Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forrest’s privately held investment firm Tattarang. It will help accelerate the construction the 4,200-kilometer infrastructure, dubbed the Australia-Asia PowerLink (AA PowerLink), solar energy developer Sun Cable said in a statement on Monday. That will be the world’s longest undersea high voltage direct 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, chairman of Tattarang, said. “This capital raise is a critical step in developing the Australia-Asia PowerLink.”
Forrest and Cannon-Brookes are the key backers of Sun Cable, which is constructing a solar farm in the deserts of Australia’s Northern Territory to supply electricity to Darwin by 2026 and to Singapore the following year via the AA PowerLink. The A$30 billion project aims to produce up to 20 gigawatts of peak electricity from what the company bills as the world’s largest solar electricity generating facility that includes a battery that can store as much as 42 gigawatt hours of electricity.
“We can power the world with clean energy and Sun Cable is harnessing that at scale,” Cannon-Brookes, principal of Grok ventures, said. “It’s a blueprint for how we export energy across the world. We fully back this vision.”
Mike Cannon-Brookes, cofounder and CEO of Atlassian, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview … [+]
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
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 plans to invest a further A$1 billion into the sector on top of the A$1 billion he’s already invested through Grok Ventures. Cannon-Brookes and his wife Annie have pledged to donate A$500 million to nonprofits seeking to alleviate climate change.
Forrest—founder of nickel producer Minara Resources and iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group—is regarded as Australia’s most generous billionaire, having donated A$655 million in 2019 to a variety of causes.
The support of its key shareholders has enabled Sun Cable to scale up in the past four years, said Sun Cable founder …….