Melbourne’s trams turn to the sun

The state of Victoria plans to build a 75 MW solar farm by the end of 2018. 35 MW of power will go towards powering Melbourne’s entire tram network.

The government of Victoria has announced that it will issue an open tender in the first half of 2017 to build the state’s first large-scale solar farm by the end of 2018. The solar farm will have a capacity of 75 MW, 35 MW of which will be linked to Melbourne’s tram network, as Climate Action Programme reported.

At 250 kilometres, Melbourne’s tram network is the largest in the world, carrying around 204 million passengers each year. By powering the city’s tram network entirely by solar energy, the city expects to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80,000 tonnes per year.

The planned solar farm will help Victoria meet its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The announcement comes six months after the government approved the construction of two wind projects with a combined 30 MW of power.

Said Kane Thorton, head of the Australian clean energy industry advocacy group Clean Energy Council: “With no national coordinated energy policy beyond the end of the decade, state governments are introducing their own initiatives to encourage more renewable energy and help Australia meet its emissions reduction commitments.”


Image credit: mikef_man, flickr/Creative Commons

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