Since 2018, Municipality of Yerevan is implementing the EU4 Yerevan – Solar Community project. This ambitious project will equip 90 multi-apartment buildings (MAB’s) with grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, along with upgraded indoor & outdoor lighting systems.
This is a unique project not only in Armenia but also in other member cities of Covenant of Mayors. Residents will benefit from high-quality and continuous lighting at their front & back-yards, entrances and staircases but also will have considerable savings – up to 50% – on their monthly electricity bills for electricity uses in common spaces. Also, they have the opportunity to earn substantial amounts for the electricity injected to the national grid.
“…the project has experienced many ups and downs; the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic itself caused a 6-months delay in procurement of goods and services for wave 1 buildings, as a result of which we started installation of solar PV, indoor and outdoor lighting systems in the cold season of the year (October last year), which in turn caused a series of problems associated with climatic conditions” says Nana Abelyan, the newly assigned Project Manager of EU4Yerevan – Solar Community Project.
“…regardless of all challenges that the project faced since its kick-off, works are about to be completed at 43 buildings included in wave 1, where around 300 kWp solar PV and 35 kW lighting systems have been installed. With decision of the Elders’ Council, Yerevan Municipality will endow solar PV and lighting systems to residents of MAB’s, where Homeowners’ Associations (HoA’s) will be in charge of operation & maintenance of all systems”, says Njdeh Andreas, the senior expert of the project.
HoA’s have already signed contracts with Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) for production and sales of solar power. They have also opened deposit bank accounts for each building where cash from different sources will be accumulated for further use, i.e. paying off the monthly utility bills, and other renewable energy & energy efficiency retrofits in buildings.
Nana Abelyan added that “… mid-August preparation of detailed technical documents for 55 buildings of wave 2 was completed, therefore, shortly Yerevan Municipality will announce procurement of goods and services for realization of works at those buildings”. The Project Team has a very limited time for realization of works at wave 2 buildings, therefore, efforts will be invested to engage more contractors, especially solar PV companies.
According to detailed technical documents 374 kWp solar PV and 42 kW lighting systems will be installed at 55 buildings of wave 2. It is expected that works will start early October and that installation and testing processes will be finished late December 2021.
“Three months is very short time to install 55 solar PV systems on rooftops of MAB’s, where since November the rainy weather and the cold will make things way difficult, however, with the experience we gained during wave 1 we believe we will be able to effectively coordinate works with all stakeholders and achieve targets planned for EU4Yerevan – Solar Community Project”, says Njdeh Andreas.
EU4Yerevan – Solar Community Project not only has a social impact for residents of MAB’s but also contributes city of Yerevan’s SEAP by reducing (or avoiding) more 300 tons of CO2 emissions per year. Yerevan officially joined the European initiative ‘Covenant of Mayors’ in September 2014 and has committed itself to enhance energy efficiency and grow the use of renewable sources of energy in its territory.