As part of Malta’s National Climate Change and Energy 2020 targets, 10% of all land transport fuels would have to come from Renewable Energy Sources. Transport Malta together with the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure is actively working to demonstrate carbon neutral transportation through the use of Solar Energy. As part of the PORT-PVEV project, three solar charging stations shall be installed within the Valletta Grand Harbour area and the Ċirkewwa port area.  The car charging stations are tent-like structures covered in photovoltaic panels and connected directly to a charging system.  Batteries on site will store the energy generated in order for same energy to be used to charge vehicles parked underneath the structures.  Excess energy will be fed into the grid.  The structure, therefore, will be capable of sustaining a photovoltaic system capable of direct photovoltaic car charging.

These structures are of different sizes.  Structures accommodating simultaneous car charging of four Electric Vehicles will be located at the Ċirkewwa Malta-Gozo Ferry Terminal car park and at the Deep Water Quay car park.  In addition three structures accommodating the charging of one Electric Vehicle at a time will be installed at Ta’ Xbiex Marina.

This project action is being led by the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure who are also partners to the PORT-PVEV project.  A tender for the design, supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of the system has been published at the beginning of 2014.  The structures are scheduled to be installed and operational by September 2014 in time for a three-month pilot period between October and December 2014.  During the pilot, the use of the solar charging stations will be demonstrated.  Data will be collected and analysed with the main aim of testing whether carbon neutral transport can be achieved using Malta’s most ample recourse: solar power.  This pilot action will  be a main contributor to the PORT-PVEV overall objective which is to decouple economic growth from carbon emissions by  improving energy efficiency  in port operations. 

As part of the same project, similar structures will also be installed at the Catania port area.  Their use here will be different however.  In Catania, the solar charging stations will be stand-alone structures used to house and re-charge 20 pedelacs to be purchased and demonstrated as part of the PORT-PVEV project.

In parallel to this project, the MTI led DEMO-EV Project is also testing carbon neutral transportation by assigning a number of Battery Electric  Vehicles for trials and testing to a number of individuals who have solar PV panels installed at their residence. This followed the publication of a Call for Volunteers targeting individuals and companies interested in participating in this project.  The project is near its completion and the respective data will be available to the project partners over the coming few months

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