Melbourne Streets Tram
Melbourne street tram. Image: Uwe Aranas Shutterstock

Victoria’s largest photovoltaic power plant is in operation. Its 128 MW will supply energy to key infrastructures in the region, allowing the capital’s trams to be 100% ecological.

Numurkah is the largest active photovoltaic power plant in Victoria, Australia: 373,839 solar panels covering 515 hectares, connected to the electricity grid as of April 2019.

The plant, developed by French renewable energy producer Neoen, is the latest piece thanks to which Melbourne’s tram network, the world’s largest, has completed its green revolution: now the 28 lines of the capital are supplied with 100% solar energy.

Image: Leonard Zhukovsky Shutterstock

But urban transport will not be the only one to benefit from the green energy of Numurkah, as Victoria Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister of Energy, Environment and Climate Change, explains during the opening ceremony “Numurkah Solar Farm will play an important role in supporting the transformation of our energy system into clean, renewable energy and meeting our goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030″.

With a maximum output of 128 MW and an estimated production of 255 GWh per year, the farm will feed the public grid and also provide electricity to the nearby GFG Alliance Laverton steelworks on the outskirts of Melbourne. The supply contract was signed in 2018: Xavier Barbaro, CEO of Neoen, and British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, CEO of GFG Alliance, signed a bi-weekly agreement to give new green momentum to the multinational Gupta.

A luckless choice, because GFG also operates what is known as the “Greensteel” model, a system that focuses on recycling scrap metal and supplying furnaces with renewable energies.

Numurkah is an important project for Neoen and the start of commercial operations here represents an important milestone for our operations.Commented Louis de Sambucy, Managing Director of Neoen Australia, stressing how the support of the Victorian government was essential to the success of the project. “As Victoria’s largest solar park, it will deliver huge benefits, boosting transportation, industry, and more.. “