Winners of tender to power Melbourne's tram network with renewable energy announced

The Victorian Government has announced the winning bidders in the tender to power Melbourne's tram network by renewable energy.

At the same time, the Victorian Government has announced plans to legislate the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) ensuring that by 2020, 25% of Victoria's energy will come from renewable sources and the target rises to 40% by 2025.

The winning tenders to power Melbourne's tram network with renewable energy were the Bannerton Solar Park located near Robinvale in the state's north-west and the Numurkah Solar Farm directly north of Melbourne.

The Bannerton solar farm is expected to provide 100MW and the Numurkah solar farm is expected to produce 38MW for the Yarra Trams network.

The Victorian Government also announced it will commence the first VRET auction of up to 650MW of new solar and wind renewable energy capacity.

The renewable energy sector will now have the confidence to invest in renewable energy projects and the jobs that are crucial to Victoria’s future.

Lily D'Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change

State and territory governments are big energy consumers. Think of the schools they own, the state or territory government ultimately pays the electricity bills for them, ditto hospitals, public transport networks and all other state and territory government services.

The reverse auctions are a way for those governments to use their market power to ignite a new wave of electricity generation by offering contracts to buy the output from the new generators.

A good example of this was the ACT government auctions, the first in Australia, which saw the ACT government ultimately sign a deal to buy the electricity output from the Ararat and Coonooer Bridge wind farms in Victoria.

The South Australian Government just last week announced it will buy the electricity output from the first SolarReserve project - a solar thermal generator that has on-site energy storage that can be used when the sun is not shinging or at night - to be located just north of Port Augusta.

Like transport networks, energy generation and transmission networks in Victoria are changing in response to sector-specific particulars, all in the context of very strong population growth in Victoria.

In the energy sector, Victorians are witnessing year on year price rises in the electricity and gas bills and in the electricity sector specifically, consumers who live in detached houses are seeing an increased amount of choice to control their bills through solar panel and battery kits.

For those who live in attached dwellings - which as well know is increasing - the same control over electricity generation and storage is not available to them.

Therefore new grid-connected generation will be key to both increasing price competition as well as help the state meet its emissions reduction targets.

As published in late July, there's plenty planning work underway in Victoria's energy transmission network and AEMO has now embedded a summary of its work into the interactive map. It's worth a look (in the layers/filter options, select 'Victorian Annual Planning Report (WAPR), Network Development and then Current Network Opportunities, click on the green overlay in Western Victoria).

Lead image credit: Wikipedia.

Development & Planning

Monday, February 26, 2018 - 00:00
Melbourne Airport owner Asia Pacific Airports Corporation (APAC) is facilitating a new hotel development on airport land that will see two new operators take up a combined 464 suites. In documents that are available for public viewing , APAC has identified Novotel and Ibis as likely operators of the 4-4.5-star hotels.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, February 2, 2018 - 00:00
Gamuda Land is set to unveil an impressive collection of artwork for the soon to be completed 661 Chapel St development in South Yarra. Andy Dinan, Director of Mars Gallery which is renowned for exhibiting and promoting contemporary Australian artists, has been invited to specially curate the art collection throughout the development; included will be some of Australia’s most collected artists.

Visual Melbourne

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 12:00
The various spaces and elements which combine to form RMIT's New Academic Street (NAS) have progressively begun to open to students and visitors alike. I was recently fortunate enough to be part of an informal group tour through the completed spaces within NAS, led by Harrison and White which had a hand in the project.

Transport & Design

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 07:01
As part of its $88 million redevelopment, the State Library of Victoria (SLV) is providing Victorian apprentices, trainees and cadets with the opportunity to help with its transformation as part of its Vision 2020. The expansive project will create additional space for public use, restore and reopen the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, and reinstate the historic Russell Street entrance.

Sustainability & Environment

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 12:00
One of the world’s more unique International design competitions - The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) 2018 - has come to Melbourne. Sponsored by the State Government of Victoria, the competition opened in early January but was officially launched on Saturday, Feb 10 th as part of the Sustainable Living Festival, Melbourne.