• Victoria state of Australia to launch tender to develop 75 MW of large scale solar farm capacity
  • 35 MW of this capacity will be used to power Melbourne tram network
  • Tender will be floated sometime in the first half of 2017; interested parties can register online to receive notification of the release date

Australia’s Victoria state will float a tender to develop 75 MW of large scale PV capacity. The state government plans to have 35 MW of this capacity to supply clean power for Melbourne’s tram network.

The 75 MW capacity will be the first such large-scale utility PV plants in Victoria. The government will run the tender in the first half of 2017 for the farms to be ready by the end of 2018. The state is aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050. These farms are a step in that direction.

The Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan, said, “We’ve got the biggest tram network in the world and we’re powering it with renewables and creating local jobs.” The government believes 300 new jobs will be created with the news farms.

In August 2015, the state announced that it aims to source renewable energy certificates from new projects in Victoria. The idea was to attract an investment of $200 million for 100 MW of renewable energy projects. Now, the government has announced an extension of this initiative to source large scale certificates (LGCs) of up to 75 MW of large scale solar projects.

Those interested in applying for the solar certificate tender can register for email notification at here.

Australia wants to procure 20% of its power coming from large scale renewable energy by 2020, after the solar focus has been on rooftop PV in the past. A promising market in the large scale renewable energy space, Australia is getting attention from many foreign developers as well. One of the latest was the Adani Grou pf of India, which has also entered the solar space in Australia with its commitment to develop two solar PV projects to come up in South Australia and Queensland (see Adani Expands Big Time To Australia).

In July 2016, Australian investment manager QIC announced entering into a strategic partnership with utility AGL Energy Limited (AGL) to create a $1 billion Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF).