The Placement Center from Sculeni will use photovoltaic energy, thanks to the support of UNDP

The Placement Center for Adults and Older People from Sculeni village, Ungheni district will use photovoltaic energy to contribute to ensuring decent living conditions for the beneficiaries of social assistance. A power station of 30 kW was installed with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Moldova and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The initiative was implemented in partnership with Green City Lab Moldova CSO.

The generated photovoltaic energy will cover at least 80% of the Center’s total electricity annual needs. The installation of the panels was done in the framework of an energy performance contract mechanism, implying that the beneficiary institution will return the money invested from the monthly savings account to the electricity bill. For this purpose, US$27,668 was provided by GEF and UNDP, funds to be recovered in up to seven years, according to estimates.

“This is an extremely important initiative not only in terms of advocating for and supporting energy efficiency, renewables, but also considering that the solar panels were installed in a place sheltering people in need, which also opened its doors to refugees. This talks a lot about the humanitarian mission of this placement center. We are happy to demonstrate to the community and at the national level the potential of green energy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in diminishing the effects of the energy crisis,” said Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

The Placement Center for Adults and Older People hosts now 25 people, the total capacity being 45 beds. In wintertime, the Center is fully occupied. In the spring of 2022, the Center hosted as well more than 80 refugees from Ukraine and helped them to obtain the necessary identity documents and to find a job.

The Center consumes over 42 thousand kWh annually. In the context of the ongoing energy crisis, the financial resources needed to cover electricity consumption would have exceeded the available budget and could have created difficulties in the operation of the institution.

“As an institution, we use a lot of electricity. Annually, the bill exceeds MDL100,000. It is essential to cut expenses and at the same time to reduce emissions and pollution. On our own, without the support of UNDP, we would have never been able to install photovoltaic panels,” notes Nicolae Leuca, Director of the Placement Center for Adults and Older People.

Using renewable energy resources for cooking and lighting the rooms triggered the curiosity of the older people accommodated at the Placement Center. Some of them had never seen photovoltaic installations before, so they were interested to know how the sun’s rays are transformed into a source of electricity.

“Electricity is costly these days and we can’t believe this installation can generate electricity to use the TV, stove, and water heater,” tells Tatiana, resident of the Placement Center.

The Placement Center for Adults and Older People from Sculeni village, Ungheni district, was selected as the beneficiary of investment through energy performance contracts mechanism following a public competition launched in 2021. Another beneficiary is the Sîngerei District Hospital.