Solar Panels for UAECNE Ministries

The Lebanon-based, Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE), is one of the oldest unions that comprise the Armenian Evangelical Church. Since its inception, they have been running several educational institutions, conference centers, assisted living centers for the elderly, a social action center, and a health clinic. The Union’s core activities seek to strengthen relationships with member churches and ecumenical partners, spiritual life, education, social and humanitarian work, relief efforts, youth engagement, inter-religious dialogue and cooperation, and building a just community of women and men.

For decades, Lebanon has been coping with electricity blackouts through back-up generators. However, with the onset of economic crisis of 2019 and lately the worldwide energy crisis, energy costs have soared exponentially to an extent that it is no longer financially sustainable to rely on traditional sources of electricity. Previously, daily power blackouts were limited to a manageable number of hours and therefore, the UAECNE and its subsidiaries have mostly relied on diesel powered electricity generators to keep their operations running during blackouts. Since October 2019, with the compounded economic and financial crisis of Lebanon as well as the shortage of fuel, power blackouts have increased dramatically. This has led to a dramatic increase in the cost of the energy supply as well as increase in carbon footprint and a major driver of climate change and human health issues.

Accordingly, UAECNE is aiming to turn to “greener” practices while addressing some of its power needs by installing solar grids with a thermal energy storage system (TES) so that the system operates continuously and generates electricity efficiently. The on-site solar energy systems will allow the UAECNE schools, churches, boarding school, center for the handicapped, youth camp and social action center to shift to clean, renewable green energy that will also offer imminent financial benefits such as energy cost reduction. Moreover, its benefits will impact a significant segment of the community, as the function of these entities altogether impact more than two thousand individuals.

The specific objectives of the project are:

— To install solar panel grids and thermal energy storage systems in the UAECNE headquarters, four schools, a boarding school, four churches, center for the handicapped, youth camp and a social action center.

— To establish a replicable model for urban and educational development through electrification in terms of energy conservation with sustainable renewable energy.

— To contribute to the mitigation of the adverse effects of climate changes in Lebanon as well as promoting greener and healthier environments for the community at large. 

The project will significantly contribute to the well-being of the community and the youth who are served by the programs and ministries of UAECNE. As the sites chosen for the implementation of the project include schools, churches, youth and community centers, the project will ensure an uninterrupted learning experience of the students, as well as the uninterrupted services that the churches and the centers provide to the community.

The cost of one set of solar panels and battery equipment costs approximately $8,500 plus installation. Global Ministries welcomes gifts for the Solar Panels for Union of Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East (UAECNE) Ministries project.

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