Australian solar technology developer 5B has been selected as Sun Cable’s preferred technology on the development of the solar farm component of the Australia-Singapore Power Link project, a $20 billion, 10GW solar farm with 20-30GWh storage near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

The project will commence construction in late 2023, with power exported to Singapore via a 3,750km undersea HVDC cable, providing up to 20% of the island state’s electricity.

5B’s Maverick technology is a modular, concertinaed solution that can be transported to site in containers and then folded out as arrays.

“We developed the Maverick solution precisely to allow solar deployment that is simpler, faster and smarter and by doing so, opening new opportunities for solar,” said 5B CEO Chris McGrath.

“Our solution streamlines engineering, procurement and construction, and transfers cost, time and risk from the construction site to our factory.”

5B will deploy a special variant of its Maverick solution called the Big Field Maverick, or BFM.

The Big Field Maverick is designed for use in mega- and gigawatt scale projects, the company says, with expectations of more than 15MWp per day, or 1MW per person per week.

The first block of Maverick technology was deployed in July to commence onsite monitoring of the solar and meteorological conditions at the Sun Cable site.

The project is scheduled to start producing power from late 2027.

McGrath said the fold-out arrays may influence a shift away from single-axis tracking towards low-cost, energy-dense east-west solutions. 

“To date, 5B’s Maverick solution has found itself being deployed in largely off-grid, remote or distributed projects, such as oil and gas or mine sites,” he says.

“These applications have provided a very important springboard for us as we have matured and optimised the technology, and will always form an important part of our market. However, deploying massive MW scale projects at ground-breaking speed and cost has always been the ultimate objective for our Maverick solution, making it ideally suited to the Sun Cable project.”

The Maverick blocks for the project will be fed to the site from Darwin in the north and Adelaide in the south by the Darwin-Adelaide railway line. At the peak of delivery, they will be deployed at a rate of more than 100 BFMs, or 15MWp, per day.

5B has formed a strategic collaboration with IXL Solar.