Melbourne's Tram System Set to Go Solar-Powered (Sort Of)
Running on sunshine — but not directly.
Melbourne, take a bow — you've just made one little yellow dwarf star very happy. Well, the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D'Ambrosio has, anyway, by announcing that the tram network will soon be powered entirely by solar power (pan out to the sun high-fiving itself).
D'Ambrosio announced this morning that Victoria's first large-scale solar plant will be operational by the end of 2018 and half the output (around 35 megawatts) will go towards running the tram system.
The plant will also create 300 jobs in Melbourne's north-west. It's a part of the master plan to bring Victoria's emissions down to net-zero in 2050. To be clear, though, the current plan is to offset the electricity used by trams with renewable energy certificates, not to directly power the trams with solar power. Hooray investment in solar energy, not hooray for ambiguous, bureaucratic offset plans that don't directly use our fine, home-made solar energy. So, while there's still room for improvement we're definitely getting there.
If any of you happen to specialise in building large-scale solar plants, today is your lucky day, because they're accepting tenders in early 2017. Get on it.
Published on January 19, 2017 by Imogen Baker