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Solar Energy for Five Monasteries in Georgia

Region: Caucasus, Georgia
Author: Nana Chklenkeli / NGO "Sun and Earth" (Tbilisi, Georgia)
Consortium Member: Horizonti
Status: Needs Funding Budget: $3740 Collected: $760 Needs: $2980
Goal: To provide five monasteries in Georgia with electricity by means of ecologically clean solar energy.
Comment: Monasteries in Georgia also serve as historical and cultural sites, and educational centers.
Donors: Anonymous (New Jersey) [April 2001; July 2001]; Timothy Douglas, Washington DC [April 2001; May 2001]; Anonymous, New Jersey [June 2002]

Solar Energy for Five Monasteries in Georgia

The majority of Georgian monasteries are situated in rural areas. In these places central electricity practically doesn’t exist. The regular clergy have to pray and preach under the light of oil-lamps. Because of this they face some problems:

  1. Lack of money and long distances make it difficult to get oil;
  2. When oil burns in such lamps, smoke is produced, which is bad for human health.
  3. The smoke also damages icons and frescoes. Thus today, lampblack covers important pieces of Georgian cultural treasure.

    The monasteries are very important bases for the cultural and social life of the local society. During holidays, village residents come to the monasteries. Also, young people often visit these places, when they have excursions from their schools. With the installation of solar energy, the monasteries will be interesting for the visitors not only as historical and religious places, but as locations where the alternative energy is used. The use of Solar Stations by the church will promote this idea among the locals – in the village communities, among the visitors (mostly young people) and also, among the Georgian NGOs (they will be informed through the press and internet). This kind of project will be a good example in our country, because we have an energy crisis, and especially in winter time people have electricity only several hours per day.
    Our NGO, “Sun and Earth”, has already completed one similar project: we installed a solar micro station in the active monastery of Martkophi, of the Georgian Patriarchal Society. The Georgian Catholicos Patriarch in order to install other similar stations.

    Aim of the project:
    To provide five monasteries of the Georgian Patriarchate (Poki, David Gareji, Betania, Shiomgvime and Kvatakhavi) with electricity by means of ecologically clean solar energy.

    Steps of the Project Implementation
    (time frame approximately three months)
    (I month) Inspecting monasteries, taking measurements and drawing up initial plans;
    (II month) Designing and constructing solar micro stations for each individual monastery; Transporting solar stations to the monasteries;
    (III month) Installation and testing.

    Results of the Project
    When the project is completed:


    Equipment and materials needed
    Solar batteries (Wp=500) $2750
    Accumulator batteries (total cost $1000) $ 650
    VF administrative cost $ 340
    Requested from Virtual Foundation $3740
    Contribution provided by the monasteries (total $850)
    Toward cost of accumulator batteries $ 350
    Money for cables, wires, electric equipment, construction $500
    Contribution provided by the NGO “Sun and Earth” (total $650)
    Transport expenses $100
    Design of solar energy systems$200
    Arrangement $250
    Other expenses (such as communications) $100
    Total cost of this project$5240
    Minus all Georgian contributions$1500
    Requested from Virtual Foundation$3740