A company introduced a bold new proposal to the state government of Victoria in Australia, which iconic Melbourne tram network made entirely Solar power in the space of a few years.
According to the court, the public transport network would be managed by the energy produced two new solar farms built near Swan Hill and Mildura, in the northwest of the state. Together, these proposals farms would be able to generate 80 gigawatt hours of electricity per year needed to run the tram network, which is the largest in the world.
According to the Solar Group of Australia – the company behind the offer – if approved, the plan would reduce emissions of 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year. Impressive, would also not increase the cost of public transport in the city.
“It was a condition that is given to us as part of the mission that we could not increase the cost of travel,” Dave Holland, co-founder of the Solar Group of Australia, said Sophie Vorrath of RenewEconomy. “We have shaped the history and the future contract price … and [the result of] what has been a driving force behind the project.”
The company has already invested USD $ 3 million in the project, and another US $ 70 million guaranteed to build solar farms, which will happen if the government owned Public Transport Victoria is committed to buying your energy for the next 20 years.
In relative terms, the trams are already a very efficient form of transportation, but the fact that currently require electricity comes from burning coal means they are still responsible for significant emissions.
The alternative to this, the Australian solar panel believes, is two 20 MW solar farm set in 80 ha plots, using 130,000 photovoltaic panels to follow the sun throughout the day.
His proposed Swan Hill site has full approval of the farm to be built, and permissions are in place to Mildura, according to Holland. “The first site is ready to go, we could start work immediately … literally website in the week,” said RenewEconomy. He predicts that construction will take about six months. Once created, the two solar farms could supply power to the network, which offset the energy needs of the tram network.
So what is the probability that the Victorian government get behind the proposal? Tom Arup surplus reported that Transport Minister Terry Mulder sent a letter to the city council in Melbourne last October saying he was interested in the project because it fits with its environmental objectives, but that the proposal be “measured against the availability of lignite and natural gas for many years gave Victoria a relatively cheap source of energy. ”
Fingers crossed that the government sees the long-term cost and environmental benefits of having one of their main transport networks run entirely on solar energy. Because it is the best idea I’ve heard in a long time.