In the winter of 2021, regardless of the weather outside, the inhabitants of Feşteliţa village felt safe, both at work and at leisure. All due to the results obtained by the locality within the Energy Efficiency Project, financially supported by the European Union and which, at the moment, is in the final stage of implementation.
The most obvious result with a major social impact on all categories of citizens of the village is intelligent street lighting, the first typology in the field of energy efficiency successfully implemented in the locality. Opting for equity, in order to provide the whole community with public lighting, the project implementation team used a new strategy to attract additional funds, combining financial sources from the grant allocated by the European Union, the contribution of the Local Public Administration, the Energy Efficiency Agency, with a loan from the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation. Thus, the innovative co-financing formula EU Grant + LPA Contribution Feşteliţa, Government of Moldova + Credit NEFCO represents ensuring the donors’ synergy in the field of energy efficiency and is a premiere for the Republic of Moldova, an example worthy of taking over by other communities.
From this year, approximately 3,000 inhabitants of Feşteliţa village, or 100% of the direct beneficiaries of the project, benefit from the new intelligent public lighting system, managed remotely and equipped with 566 LED luminaries of 40W each, mounted on about 20 km of the streets.
In addition to the economic, environmental and security benefits registered by the locality, the psychosocial ones can also be enumerated: longer spending free time in the air, lasting interpersonal relationships with both family and friends, detachment of children from school and giving up gadgets in favour of sports games, good mood, increasing optimism and the level of confidence of the population in the Local and Central Public Authorities. As an example, sledding this winter was practiced by the people of Feşteliţa until late at night, only thanks to the public lighting in the village.
Another tangible result of the project is the installation of 4 biomass-burning boiler plants and a system of solar collectors at the kindergarten, gymnasium, culture house and city hall. Rational investment for the good of the citizen, thus ensuring the local public institutions, for a long period of time, with an accessible environmentally friendly thermal agent, produced from local renewable resources. The biomass necessary for the proper functioning of the boiler plants is grown on the own 5ha energy poplar plantation. The beneficiary of this typology of subproject is the whole community: the employees and the beneficiaries of the public institutions, the students and the children of preschool age. Importantly, the level of public service delivery also increases, making them more accessible in any period of time.
Another innovative achievement of the project is the creation and endowment with IT equipment of the ECO Training Educational Centre within the “Voinicel” kindergarten. The purpose of the centre’s activities is not only to promote energy efficiency technologies and demonstration sources of renewable energy to the young generation of Feşteliţa village, but also to facilitate the online activities of educators and children during the COVID-19 pandemic. To mention, the IT equipment was purchased at the expense of the contribution collected on-line by the natives, within the Energy Efficiency project, but also with the financial support of Feşteliţa city hall.
The “ECOFeşteliţa” Creation and Recycling Centre within the “Vasile Moga” gymnasium, created in 2020 by the project implementation team in response to the European Union’s initiative of active involvement in preventing the spread of COVID-19, continues its activities at a fast pace. Due to the contribution of the natives accumulated on-line, it was equipped with sewing / embroidery machines, fabrics and other equipment specific to the field of tailoring and reconditioning. Over 1000 protective masks of Feşteliţa brand were sewn and distributed through the local public institutions thanks to the creative efforts of the school community, but also of the volunteers from the village.
It should be mentioned that the implementation team managed to save some money in the project budget, which, after co-ordination with the CoM-DeP support team and approval of the European Union Delegation to Moldova, follow to be directed to implementation of other additional works in the field of energy efficiency, namely: thermal insulation of the Feşteliţa city hall building and installation of on-grid photovoltaic panels with a cumulative capacity of 38 kW on 3 public institutions (kindergarten, gymnasium, city hall). Thus, these buildings will be able to claim the labelling „nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEBs), with minimal CO2 emissions.
The project „Creation of the Centre of Excellence through piloting demonstrative new energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy sources in FEŞTELIŢA community”, is financially supported by the European Union through the EU program „Convention of Mayors – Demonstration Projects” (CoM-DeP) and implemented by PA AO ”Fondul de Inovaţii Sociale din Moldova” NGO. The project promotion campaign is carried out through the page of the Association of Natives of Feşteliţa village, which currently has over 1000 followers (https://www.facebook.com/ABFestelita).