Melbourne trams to be solar powered

Melbourne’s tram network will be powered by a new large-scale solar plant to be built in regional Victoria.

The Victorian Government has announced it will run a tender to help build 75MW of new large-scale solar farms, delivering $150 million in new capital investment and 300 new jobs.

Around 35MW of these new solar farms will be linked to Melbourne’s tram network.

“We’ve got the biggest tram network in the world, and we’re powering it with renewables and creating local jobs,” Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said.

The government will voluntarily surrender renewable energy certificates matching the amount of electricity used by all of Melbourne’s trams, which will result in a reduction of more than 80,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.

“We will use our purchasing power as a large energy consumer to boost investment in renewables and create new jobs for Victorians,” Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said.

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

An open tender will be run in the first half of 2017 to build Victoria’s first large scale solar farms by the end of 2018.

This initiative keeps Victoria on track to meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.