Malta Independent

Call issued for the building of large-scale solar farms

● Bid to help Malta reach EU 10% renewable energy goal

- Albert Galea

Industrial firms interested in investing in large-scale solar farms can now take advantage of a call issued by the energy ministry yesterday.

Speaking at a news conference at the Water Services Corporatio­n offices in Luqa, Minister for Energy and Waste Management Joe Mizzi said that by the end of last year, alternativ­e energy generation in Malta accounted for about six per cent of total energy. With this new scheme, Mizzi said, the aim was to reach a total of 10 per cent, which would be in line with the targets for renewable energy that the European Union has set for Malta.

The call is the second of its kind, covering farms with a minimum output power of one megawatt peak power. The intention to increase solar energy output by 35 megawatts, after the first call issued last year increased output by 15 megawatts.

Submission­s will be received until 26 October, with the ministry aiming to adjudicate the contracts by the end of the year.

Those submitting bids as part of this call must compete between themselves, and the government will choose the most advantageo­us offer. The bids must also be in line with a set of solar farm policy guidelines issued by the Planning Authority last year, and deal with elements such as the permissibl­e location for such farms.

The farms should be up and running within two years, in time for Malta to reach its targets by the 2020 deadline.

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