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Yet Another Solar Farm Proposed On 10,000 Sqm Of ODZ Land, This Time In Siġġiewi

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Yet another development of a solar farm has been proposed on ODZ land, this time in the limits of Siġġiewi.

The plans outline the installation of photovoltaic panels, construction of a section of boundary wall, and the construction of a substation.

The proposed development would occupy approximately 10,071 sqm overlooking Wied Hanzir, in the proximity of Triq Bur ix-Xewk, within the limits of Siġġiewi.

The permit was applied for by Mark Bajada, who is the managing director of renewable energy company Bajada New Energies, to fully transform the field into a solar farm.

Proposed Solar Farm Layout

Proposed Solar Farm Layout

This is not the first time that this particular field was going to be transformed into a solar farm, with the Planning Authority having received a similar application back in 2015 by Renergy Ltd.

This application was later on refused in 2018, on the basis that the site could not be considered as a disused quarry, as vegetation had taken over. The solar farm policy specifies that quarries which have been restored before the date of adoption of this policy are not eligible for the development of solar farms.

While Malta’s solar farm policy doesn’t permit their construction on agricultural land, there has been a significant rise in applications for solar farms on agricultural land, hinting that this might be a possible loophole for both the solar farm and rural policy.

Solar farms are currently in the spotlight of environmental discussions of Malta, with various permits finding strict opposition from farmers and residents of the surrounding areas.

This comes after outrage following the proposed Mġarr solar farms, which will occupy an area of land the size of seven football pitches, 43,000 sqm of arable land to be exact if approved.

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's either shooting film or out at sea. She's passionate about society and the culture that made her. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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