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Malta transforms reservoir roofs into solar farms

Malta transforms reservoir roofs into solar farms

Two clean energy projects will ensure sufficient generation of electricity for 750 households in the island nation

Making the most of its limited land space, Malta is putting even the roofs of water storage facilities to good use. The roof of one such reservoir at Ta’ San Niklaw in Qrendi, stretching over 5000 sq m, is being currently covered with solar panels. When the installation is complete, the planned 1,934 photovoltaic modules will be generating around 1 million kWh of electricity per year – enough to meet the energy needs of around 250 households. The investment is to the tune of EUR 1 million.

Meeting 2050 environmental targets

This project is one of the two carried out as a partnership between Water Services Corporation, the Chamber for Small to Medium enterprises and Malta Energy, a company entrusted with the management of the Government’s spaces and entities with the aim of transforming them into solar farms.

“These belong to the country obviously so that Malta can meet its environmental targets by 2050 and residents will benefit because eventually we will carry out a project for residents who do not have their own roofs and have nowhere to install solar panels, ” the Chamber’s President, Paul Abela told TVM

A similar project is underway on four reservoirs at Ta’ Ċenċ, Gozo. With the Qrendi solar farm, the country will have a total of five reservoirs generating about 3 million kWh per year of clean energy, sufficient for 750 families.

According to the government press service, the construction of these solar farms has been awarded through a competitive tender. The winning bidders will effectively own and operate the plant, and the company will be paying them according to production.

Energy, enterprise and sustainability crossing paths 

During a visit to the Qrendi site, the Minister for Energy, Enterprise, and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli praised the project as a typical example where the pillars of energy, enterprise, and sustainable development intersect. “Today’s investment is another example of our commitment to implement what we say. The consumer remains at the center of our work whilst encouraging businesses to participate in the generation of electricity in the Maltese and Gozitan islands,” said Minister Dalli, quoted by energy.gov.mt. She added that the Labour Government will continue to invest further in clean energy, as this is viewed as a top priority. 

As a long-term strategy, Malta Energy plans to expand its operations in areas outside the Water Services Corporation facilities, and undertake, for example, charging electric vehicles. According to the company, this could provide added value to the entity hosting the installations.

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