Solar panels a bright future for Bendigo Tramways

FUTURE POWERS PAST: Chris Weir, Ann Lansberry, Peter Abbott, Colin Lambie, Wayne Gregson and Luke Jenkins with a solar panel to be placed on the roof of the Bendigo Tramways Depot. Picture: NONI HYETT

FUTURE POWERS PAST: Chris Weir, Ann Lansberry, Peter Abbott, Colin Lambie, Wayne Gregson and Luke Jenkins with a solar panel to be placed on the roof of the Bendigo Tramways Depot. Picture: NONI HYETT

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New technology will help a historical attraction power through the city’s streets. 

A solar power system will be installed on the roof of the Bendigo Tramways depot and workshop.

Community Foundation for Central Victoria chief executive officer Ann Lansberry expects the 50 kilowatt photovoltaic system to be up and running from January 1. 

Bendigo Heritage Attractions anticipates the new system will reduce grid supplied energy to the tramways by about 40 per cent in the next 10 years, saving more than 95 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

That’s about equivalent to carbon sequestered by 24,620 tree seedlings over 10 years.

“It will also help us reduce our running expenses,” Bendigo Heritage Attractions chief executive officer Peter Abbott said.

The project is a joint initiative by the Community Foundation for Central Victoria, Bendigo Heritage Attractions and the Bendigo Sustainability Group.

The Community Foundation bought the system and will sell the electricity to Bendigo Tramways as part of a 10-year power purchase agreement, after which the system will become the property of the tramways. 

Bendigo Sustainability Group provided project management services and will conduct online monitoring and report smart data about the new system.

Community Foundation for Central Victoria chair Penny Wilkinson said the investment complemented the foundation’s mission, Give where you live. 

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