World's Largest Solar Farm in Australia Will Also Supply 20% of Singapore's Electricity
The massive solar farm, which will be visible from space after it's constructed, will lie halfway between Alice Springs and Darwin, two cities in Australia's Northern Territory. The solar farm will occupy more than 46 square miles and cost $20 billion to build, according to Unilad.
The remote area of the Outback where the solar panels will work is currently a massive cattle ranch, but the owner of the project, Sun Cable, hopes to start construction in 2023 with the aim of exporting energy by 2027. According to Unilad, the solar farm is expected to generate so much energy that not only will it power all of the Northern Territory, but two-thirds of the electricity will be exported via underwater cables that run 2,800 miles to Singapore, a city-state on the tip of the Malay peninsula.
Sun Cable has initiated the project by evaluating its environmental impact and making sure its project complies with regulation from the Northern Territory's Environment Protection Authority, as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.
"We'll be using thousands of hectares of land, and we need to closely examine the impact on the ground at the solar farm end," Sun Cable CEO David Griffin said, as ABC reported. "There's a lot of black soil in that country, but that's a bit problematic for us, so we're [planning to build] on a substantial area of soil that's a bit different and a bit friendlier for us to construct on."
Despite those challenges, Griffin believes the massive cattle farm called Newcastle Waters is an ideal location for the solar farm because it meets several critical requirements.
"It's on the Adelaide to Darwin rail corridor, which is brilliant for our logistics given the enormous amount of material we'll have to transport to the site," he said to The Guardian. The location is also just 18 miles off the main highway that runs the length of the sparsely populated Northern Territory.
The weather also provides ideal conditions for producing energy.
"It's a bit of a balancing act too, because it's far south enough to get away from the main patch affected by the wet season, so it's a steady solar resource throughout the year," Griffin told The Guardian. "There's plenty of sun and not many clouds."
The massive project is expected to supply 10 gigawatts of electricity. The sustainable energy will help the remote areas of the Northern Territory, which usually have to use energy from diesel-powered generators. The exported energy will supply 20 percent of Singapore's energy needs, according to Unilad.
The solar farm, which is three times larger than the world's current largest solar farm in northern China, is also expected to provide thousands of jobs related to construction and hundreds of jobs once construction is done. Griffin told The Guardian that many of the jobs will go to local Indigenous communities.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>