An Australian billionaire will back a $17bn plan to export renewable power from the country’s Northern Territory to Singapore, he revealed in a media interview.

Mike Cannon-Brookes said he would invest in the Sun Cable project, which aims to pump solar power from a 3GW PV complex via 3,800km of cable to supply 20% of Singapore’s entire power needs.

Cannon-Brookes – who made his fortune with software group Atlassian – told the Australian Financial Review: “I’m backing it, we’re going to make it work, I’m going to build a wire,” despite quipping that the project was “insane”.

Other Australian investors are also planning to support Sun Cable, Cannon-Brookes told the newspaper, without specifying how much he would put into the project.

Sun Cable is led by CEO David Griffin, a former senior executive at wind and solar developer Infigen Energy. It plans to begin consulting over a planned 15,000-hectare solar array later this year.

Sun Cable is not the only ambitious renewable power export plan currently in the works in Australia. The Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH), backed by a consortium including CWP, Macquarie and Vestas, is looking at developing more than 11GW of wind and solar, with a view to transmission to Southeast Asia.