Melbourne’s tram network, Laverton Steelworks and more than 48,000 homes will be powered by solar power, as a recently built $198 million solar farm comes online.
The Numurkah Solar Farm, located on the Goulburn Valley Highway in northern Victoria, was officially opened on by Victorian Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.
Built by Downer and owned and operated by Neoen, the site holds 373,839 individual solar panels, spanning 515 hectares across seven parcels of land.
The facility will produce up to 255,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy every year, equivalent to taking 77,000 cars of the road each year.
“It has been a massive collaborative effort with all of our partners to deliver this solar farm which will provide significant environmental and economic benefits for the community,” Downer Executive General Manager for Renewables and Power Systems, Lena Parker, said.
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It is one of two solar farms supplying 100 per cent renewable energy to offset Melbourne’s entire tram network.
Neoen has also secured a 15-year deal with SIMEC ZEN to help power the Laverton Steelworks, taking the initial project size from 34 megawatts to 128 megawatts direct current/ 100 megawatts alternating current.
It is the largest solar farm in the state and is part of the Victorian Government’s push to transition to renewable energy and develop employment opportunities for regional communities.
“The Numurkah Solar Farm is a significant milestone for Neoen, one that could not have been achieved without the support of the Victorian Government,” Neoen Australia Managing Director, Louis de Sambucy, said.
The Victorian Government’s Renewable Certificate Purchasing Initiative and Solar Trams Initiative, has brought forward the construction of around 350 megawatts of new solar and wind capacity, leveraging around $720 million in capital expenditure and creating 755 construction jobs.
D’Ambrosio said the State Government was proud to have supported a project that has delivered hundreds of jobs in regional Victoria.
“The Numurkah Solar Farm will play an important role in supporting the transformation of our energy system towards clean, renewable energy and reaching our renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030.”