Potential site identified for Malta’s first grid-connected floating solar project
A site located within Malta’s territorial waters has been identified as the potential location for the country’s first grid-connected floating solar project, Maltese Minister for Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli announced.
A preliminary market consultation (PMC) has been launched to assess the market readiness for nearshore floating solar technology projects, specifically photovoltaic farms, within Malta’s territorial waters.
The PMC aims to gather proposals from operators for the deployment of floating solar projects within the zone extending up to 12 nautical miles off the Maltese coast.
The initiative is expected to facilitate the evaluation of investor interest, allowing the Government of Malta to assess the current market preparedness for such projects and support the technical studies being undertaken to proceed with a potential issuance of a competitive call for offers.
The identified site is located 4 NM offshore Malta and is subject to confirmation upon further technical and environmental studies. Preliminary studies have shown that the location has a potential capacity of 50 MW.
Following consultation with several government entities, the plan is to have the floating solar farms connected to the national grid directly to Dellimara. The identified offshore area and the proposed cable route are preliminary and will need to be confirmed or adjusted as necessary through further seabed studies.
Further studies are set to be carried out when the project concept matures, in line with the submissions received through the PMC and additional technical studies.
“Malta, strategically located in the middle of the Mediterranean and benefiting from high solar irradiation, is an ideal location for solar installations,” Malta’s Regulator for Energy and Water Services said.
“Considering that offshore floating solar farms are still in their infancy, Malta has a prime opportunity to lead the way and demonstrate the commercial viability of such technologies.”
The deadline for submitting proposals is April 24, 2024.
The Maltese ministry is also in the process of preparing a policy for investments in offshore renewable energy systems such as floating wind farms in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
According to local media reports, a draft National Policy for the Deployment of Offshore Renewable Energy was launched for public consultation last year, with the final policy to be published in the coming months.
Recently, Malta greenlighted a second interconnector to Italy, following the approval of the development permit from the Maltese Planning Authority. This second Malta-Sicily cable link is part of the Maltese Government’s future energy strategy for meeting the 2030 climate and energy targets and the longer-term decarbonization objectives. The start of operations is planned for the second quarter of 2026.