European support: a modern biomass heating system was installed at the kindergarten in Horesti, Ialoveni

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The Kindergarten in Horesti, Ialoveni, gave up the old natural gas heating system and switched to clean energy. From the current autumn, the heat in the institution will be provided by biomass, and hot water – by solar energy.  Over 230 children and 30 employees will benefit of better conditions. The investment was possible thanks to the financial support of the European Union provided by the Energy and Biomass Project, implemented by the United Nations Development Program.

The old heating system in the Horesti kindergarten was morally and physically obsolete. Its capacity – of only 100 kw, did not allow for a constant temperature to be ensured in all rooms of the kindergarten, which total area is about 2000 square meters.  Hence, when outside there were big frosts, there were no more than 14-15 degrees Celsius in the group halls, and the kindergarten administration was forced to connect electrical heaters.  The hot water was also produced with the help of electricity, in each of the eight group rooms a boiler was installed. Even if electricity bills reached astronomical sums, hot water wasn’t enough for everyone anyway.

In order to solve the problem, the town hall in the locality applied for a European grant, and with the money raised – 60,294 EUR installed state-of-the-art technology, which works based on solar energy and biomass.  In the cold season, the heat in the institution will be provided by solid biomass fuel (sawdust and compost briquettes), and the sun will heat the water. The technological scheme provides for the connection of the hot water circuit to the thermal power plant circuit when the energy emitted by solar radiation is insufficient. The European investments have been used for the construction from scratch of a building for a high performance thermal plant and for the purchase and installation of two boilers with a total capacity of 250 kW, as well as a set of six solar collectors. With the help of the community contribution – 14,937 EUR, the design works we carried out, the biofuel deposit was built and repairs were done inside the kindergarten.

Biomass heating will reach the kindergarten along with the start of the heating season, and the hot water from solar energy has already began to be delivered a few weeks ago. Employees of the institution say that the benefits of the new facilities are obvious.  „We have already been able to feel the comfort of having hot water any time, without raising the problem of paying too much for it.  In a kindergarten, hot water is not a luxury, but a necessity. Children need to wash their hands as often as possible, we need hot water in the kitchen, to wash the dishes”, says Elena Condurache, interim director of the kindergarten.

Both the administration of the kindergarten, as well as the town hall state that this project is very good for the community and especially for the families who have children in the kindergarten. „Thanks to the support offered by the European Union, we managed to implement a project we have been dreaming about – to provide good conditions for children and kindergarten employees”, says the mayor, Petru Cigoreanu.  He hopes that in the next period of time he will manage to access funds to bring clean energy to other social institutions in the locality as well.  ”We know that clean energy systems are not only eco-friendly, but also economically efficient.  We have biofuel producers both in the locality and in the district. Thus, we will be able to support the domestic producers and we will contribute to environment protection.  The savings we will get will be used to upgrade the kindergarten building and to ensure optimal conditions for children”, states Petru Cigoreanu.

The preschool institution in Horești, Ialoveni, is one of the 236 kindergartens, schools, health centres that have been connected to biomass heating systems with the support of the European Union within the Energy and Biomass Project.

The Energy and Biomass Project, phase two, is a project carried out in 2015–2018, with a total budget of 9,41 million EUR provided by the European Union and is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme.  It continues the first phase of the project (2011–2014), with a total budget of 14,56 million EUR, offered by the European Union (14 million EUR) and UNDP (560 000 EUR). The national partner of the Energy and Biomass Project is the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.

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The EU4Energy Initiative covers all EU support to improve energy supply, security and connectivity, as well as promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables in the Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

EU offers this support by financing projects and programmes that help to reform energy markets and reduce national energy dependence and consumption. Over the longer term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing the energy deficit and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector. More information on: www.EU4Energy.eu