Vahan village, Chambarak region, Gegharkunik province, runs 28 kilometers along the Armenian-Azeri border. The 6-months long winter in the village creates numerous challenges for the 1228 inhabitants who lack basic heating technologies.
Its two-story kindergarten was built in the late 60s and currently houses 42 children and 11 employees. Until recently, the kindergarten was also deprived of any affordable means to receive heating and hot water.
Last March, however, Vahan became one of the six communities in Armenia to be incorporated in the Joint Alternative Energy Project, implemented between FPWC and VivaCell-MTS. On December 11, the 10 month long project, which included the installation of a solar water heating system in the kindergarten and capacity trainings for locals, was successfully completed.
The system has been connected to the kindergarten’s heating structures, through which the kindergarten is able to receive heat and hot water free of cost during the day. Given that the kindergarten only works during daytime and at night only heating needs to be provided so that the system does not freeze, there is up to 60% saving on gas consumption. The solar water heating system is energy efficient and environmentally friendly as it reduces water heating costs by 100% in the summer and up to 50-60% in the winter.
Giving villagers an opportunity to use alternative sources of energy is an important part of this initiative. As Armenia has fairly good potential for solar energy, investment in alternative and energy efficient technologies significantly benefits the environment and reduces social issues in rural regions of the country.