Feeling the heat

REC grant-assisted project in Lubny, Ukraine, aims to boost share of renewables in energy for heating

November 3, 2017 | By Nathan Johnson

This is the second in a series of articles on municipalities are that are implementing local action plans with assistance from REC-provided grants through the “Local Initiatives for a Sustainable Ukraine” (LINK) project. In 2016, the REC invited partner municipalities to submit project proposals that address priority issues identified in their “Local Action Plan towards Energy Security and Sustainability” or “Local Environmental and Energy Action Plan”, developed and endorsed by the relevant local authority.

Reputed founded in 988 by Prince Vladimir the Great, Lubny (pop. 46,000) is a city in Poltava Oblast in central Ukraine. Initially the site of a small wooden fortress above the Sula River, Lubny is now an industrial and cultural centre a major producer of meat and milk products, furniture and bread.

The outpatient unit of the Lubny City Municipal Central Hospital has a 63 m3 pool that is used exclusively for medical purposes and physical therapy. The ideal pool temperature for treating children with musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases is 27-30 °C, but the heating costs to maintain this temperature are prohibitive, making year-round treatment impossible at present. Water heating for the entire medical facility during the fall, winter and spring seasons derives from solid fuels (pellets, peat etc.), but during summer, when the boiler is not working, heat can be provided only from electric water heating units. Unfortunately, given the pressure to save on the energy costs of heating the pool in summer, between 1,000-3,000 sick children go without treatment during this time.

“Installation of Solar Systems of Buildings of the Lubny City Municipal Central Hospital” is a grant-assisted project that Lubny is implementing to increase the share of renewable sources in the total energy capacity of the municipality’s utilities sector, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to improve patient access to treatment.

The public initiative for the use of solar energy for the buildings of the city hospital in Lubny is a part of a ‘Green Road Map’ for the city,” said Lubny Deputy Mayor Oleksandr Didenko. “It was proposed by two CSOs — the Regional Center for Economic Research and Business Support Foundation and the Energy Agency 'Alternative'. The city community considers the initiative to be extremely important.”

Key objectives and anticipated outcomes

The project has been designed to have a long-term impact, and will be an organic complement to efforts not only to thermo-modernise the entire clinic but to increase the share of renewable energy sources (RES) in municipal buildings throughout the city. Specific activities to be deployed over the long term are biomass heating, façade winterising, and installation of solar panels for water heating.

In the short term, the project plans include installation of a vacuum solar collector, water heaters, control systems, flowmeters and heat carriers. This will involve mechanical and technical work, while also requiring technical and architectural supervision and control.

Project evaluation will be carried out using IPCC methodology in combination with a local methodology for energy security and stable development. Projected annual savings in heat and electricity costs are 285,320 kWh—equivalent to EUR 12,500. The project is expected to fully pay for itself in 4.8 years.  The project will also be used as a pilot to encourage further use of similar technologies in educational institutions.

“The project will be used as a demonstration for further application of such technologies in educational institutions, primarily in kindergartens and schools,” the Deputy Mayor explained. “It will give an incentive to the local community to continue implementing energy efficiency projects in our city.”

Once fully implemented, the RES share for Lubny’s municipal buildings is expected to be 23.9 percent, and 2.3 percent for the whole city. The projected cut in annual CO2 emissions in Lubny through the expansion of RES technologies is 90,740 tonnes. Lastly, and importantly, pool treatment for approximately 1,000 visitors per day will be available on a year-round basis.

“Due to the successful implementation of the project, the city will benefit from budget savings and improved public health,” said project coordinator Serge Lyovkin. “The effectiveness of the project can only be affected by inflation and natural climatic processes.”

Project activity timeline

Technical and financial expert supervision has been carried out for the duration the six-month project implementation plan. The primary task during the first month was to establish the overall technical conditions and parameters for the project. Month two involved the development and procurement of estimate documents. The third month entailed obtaining the required state expertise and permission to begin the work, conducting a tender for necessary purchases, procuring the supply of equipment, and deployment of technical and architectural supervision until project completion.

Equipment supply continued into the fourth month, when construction got underway. With construction carrying into the fifth month, mechanical and installation work began and continued to the end of the project. The necessary documents were prepared when the physical work was concluded, and this was followed by an advertising and media campaign and the conducting of demonstration tours as a component of soft measures to be carried out within the context of the municipality’s local energy security plan (LESP).

The total project budget is EUR 60,000, of which the REC has provided EUR 30,000 in grant funding through the Government of Norway.

TAGS: Ukraine | Local initiatives | Fuel and energy