On board with solar trams
Renewable energy has been used to offset 200,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from the tram network, giving Melburnians a clean energy travel option as they return to public transport.
Under the Solar Trams Initiative, the Victorian Government purchases and surrenders about 82,000 MWh in large-scale generation certificates each year from Bannerton Solar Park near Robinvale and Numurkah Solar Farm near Shepparton, matching the electricity consumption of Melbourne's entire tram network.
This means the world's largest tram network is also totally offset by clean energy, thanks to a partnership between Yarra Trams, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Department of Transport.
In another clean energy project for our public transport network, 16 metropolitan train stations are now fitted with solar panels, avoiding 375 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
The government is also investing $20 million in a trial to investigate technologies to transition Victoria’s bus fleet to zero emission vehicles.
After a trial on Route 246 between Elsternwick and Clifton Hill, the electric bus is now running on Route 251 between the city and Northland Shopping Centre, clocking up more than 32,900 kilometres and travelling nearly 1,000 kilometres on just two charges, demonstrating the efficiency and range of its 324 kW Lithium Phosphate batteries.
During its first 300 days on the road, the Victorian-built electric bus saved 61 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
This is equivalent to over 30,000 kilos of coal burned, or over 23,000 kilometres driven by an average car. It could power 10.4 houses for a year, or charge over 7 million smart phones.