Melbourne’s tram network to run on solar power by 2018

Image credit:

Melbourne’s 401-strong tram network will soon be running on renewable energy supplied by a new large-scale solar power plant, the Victorian Government announced on Thursday.

Image credit:

The new solar plant, to be located in Victoria’s northwest, will generate approximately 75 megawatts of power, half of which will be linked to the tram network.

The project is expected to deliver $150 million in new capital investment and 300 new jobs while also resulting in a reduction of more than 80,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio, said the State Government will voluntarily surrender renewable energy certificates matching the amount of electricity used by all of Melbourne’s trams.

“We will use our purchasing power as a large energy consumer to boost investment in renewables and create new jobs for Victorians,” the Minister added.

She said the project will keep Victoria on track to meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“We’re positioning Victoria as a leader in climate change, by reducing emissions and adapting to the impacts,” Ms D’Ambrosio concluded.

The government plans to hold an open tender for the construction of the solar farm in the first half of 2017, with the project expected to be delivered by the end of 2018.