Sun Cable, one of the most ambitious solar projects in Australia, has hit a roadblock after shareholders failed to reach a consensus on the future direction and funding of the project. As a result, the company has entered into voluntary administration. The $21 billion project, which aims to export electricity to Singapore via a 4,200-kilometer submarine cable, has been touted as the world’s largest solar farm. Sun Cable has appointed FTI Consulting as voluntary administrators and will now seek expressions of interest for either a recapitalization or a sale of the business.
The project, which was backed by Australian billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest, had aimed to generate 10 GW of solar energy, enough to power over 5 million homes. Disagreements over the proposed use of new and untested solar panel technology led to a stalemate among the investors, with the company unable to reach a consensus on how to proceed with the project.
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Cannon-Brookes, who is the chairman of Sun Cable, said in a statement that “Despite the setback, I believe Sun Cable has the potential to revolutionize the renewable energy industry and deliver green energy for the world, right here from Australia. I fully support the team and look forward to supporting the company’s next chapter.” Cannon-Brookes, whose fortune mainly comes from his stake in Atlassian, a collaboration software company he co-founded, has been investing heavily in renewable energy and sustainable projects.
He plans to invest an additional $1 billion into the sector on top of the $1 billion he has already invested through Grok Ventures. Additionally, Cannon-Brookes and his wife Annie have pledged to donate $500 million to non-profits working towards alleviating climate change.
The future of Sun Cable remains uncertain, but the company’s supporters remain optimistic that with the right investment and direction, it will play a crucial role in the transition towards a sustainable future. The setback serves as a reminder of the importance of finding common ground and reaching a consensus among stakeholders in order to move forward with such ambitious projects.