Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 May, 2023 at 4:04 pm by Andre Camilleri
Network upgrades and new interconnections will consolidate Malta’s renewable energy plans
Malta’s commitment to electricity network reinforcements and its plans to augment security of supply through new interconnections with mainland Europe and battery storage systems are paving the way for increased renewable energy investment in coming years.
Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy and Miriam Dalli, Malta’s Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise, discussed Malta’s renewable energy plans on Wednesday during a visit to some of the principal electricity network installations operated by Malta’s distribution network operator Enemalta plc. The visit was held on the fringes of the Med9 Meeting of Energy Ministers, which is taking place in Valletta on Thursday.
Commissioner Simson and Minister Dalli also met Interconnect Malta, the Government company entrusted with the development of Interconnector 2, the second subsea electricity interconnector between Malta and Italy.
During the visit, Enemalta management explained how the company is implementing a €90 million reinforcement programme to improve network resilience while providing additional capacity to meet the requirements of the country’s growing investment in grid-connected renewables. The visit included stops at the Kappara 132kV primary substation, which was recently upgraded, the Terminal Station of the EU-funded Malta-Italy Interconnector at Magħtab, as well as a section of the 30-kilometre network of underground tunnels housing the country’s 110-kilometre high-voltage cable network.
Interconnect Malta’s management team gave an update on the ongoing planning and permitting stages of the Interconnector 2 project, which is being developed with the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This new interconnection will provide for the planned increase in local renewable energy sources (RES) by enhancing grid stability and balancing renewables’ intermittency.
Interconnect Malta is also working on the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) Project, a grid-scale electricity storage system that is being planned as an important contribution to the attainment of Malta’s decarbonisation commitments, in line with the EU’s Green Deal objectives. The BESS project is being co-funded by the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF) and the ERDF of the European Union.
European Commissioner Kadri Simson said: “We had a good discussion with Minister Dalli today about Malta’s plans to invest in infrastructure projects that will help further deployment of renewable energy. It is always useful to see energy projects on site. Europe – including the Mediterranean region – keeps moving at full speed towards a decarbonised, secure and affordable energy system. I am happy to see Malta stepping up renewables investments and contributing to this joint goal.”
Minister Dalli thanked Commissioner Simson for accepting Malta’s invitation to learn more about its ambitious renewable energy plans. “We believe that our only way forward is to maximise the potential of existing and upcoming renewable energy technologies to achieve our decarbonisation objectives, while working towards increased autonomy and security of supply. During tomorrow’s Med9 Meeting, we will show how the Mediterranean can be the key to tackle some of the complexities that Europe’s energy sector is currently facing. We are determined to continue working with the European Commission and with other member states to show how the Mediterranean can become Europe’s Green Energy Centre,” the Minister said.