Works on the government’s first solar farm for households lacking roof access and therefore unable to invest in photovoltaic panels is at an advanced stage.

The €1.46 million project, which will cater for up to 370 families, is based at the Fiddien water reservoir in the limits of Rabat, which has a footprint of two football pitches.

The area is to be covered by an estimated 4,000 panels, which will contribute to a reduction of about 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Energy Minister Joe Mizzi yesterday visited the facility, expected to be completed by October.

“Under this communal photovoltaic scheme, households unable to invest in PV panels, contributing to huge savings on their energy bill, will be given the opportunity to do so nonetheless,” he said.

READ: How to profit from a solar farm

Mr Mizzi noted that the project would contribute to reaching the EU’s 2020 clean energy generation targets and increase Malta’s spare power capacity.

Under this scheme, each household can purchase up to three kilowatts of peak power at €1,495 each, as if they had purchased their own system at a reduced price through the government grant.

READ: The experts making cheaper, better solar panels right here in Malta

Once a PV system is working, its beneficiaries will save 15c per kilowatt hour in the first six years, which will fall to 10c5 in the subsequent 14 years.

Though the solar farm will be fully operational by October, those who join the scheme at an early stage will start benefiting earlier, as from next month parts of the facility will be hooked to the grid. The project, by the Water Services Corporation, includes structural repairs on the water reservoir.

Mr Mizzi said that efforts had been made to minimise the visual impact of the panels.

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