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Digital Sofia the Smart City conference aimed at boosting collaboration between key stakeholders in the digital transformation of the city, Source: Yordanka Fandakova on Facebook

Sofia wants to power kindergartens with hydrogen

Sofia wants to power kindergartens with hydrogen

Mayor Yordanka Fandakova unveiled an array of sustainability projects during "Digital Sofia - The Smart City" conference

Yesterday, during "Digital Sofia the Smart City" conference, Yordanka Fandakova, the mayor of Bulgaria’s capital announced several new projects that would help the city achieve its emissions reduction goals. One of the flagship projects includes installing hydrogen fuel cells in 400 municipal schools and kindergartens.

Another project includes the creation of an electrified rail connection that will transport raw material to Sofia’s waste incineration plant, a contentious project that is yet to be put into service.

Mayor Fandakova explained that the electrified train would save 8,000 truck trips a year, which will boost the sustainability claim of the project. She also highlighted a hydrogen fuel cell project in collaboration with the city’s subway company - Metropoliten.

The "Digital Sofia the Smart City" conference itself was organised by the Municipality and the Communications Regulation Commission – Bulgaria’s telecommunications regulator. The event aimed to create links between key stakeholders from the government and the business sector.

Attendees included ministries and local authorities, as well as the non-governmental sector, telecoms, startup ecosystem, business, the academic community, banking and the fintech sector. The idea of the conference was also to boost the digital transformation of both services and businesses.

Sofia’s bid for municipal green energy  

The main project that Mayor Fandakova discussed during her conference speech was for installing hydrogen fuel cells in 400 schools and kindergartens in the city. With the new systems, the buildings would be able to cover up to 40% of their energy needs. This would make them small scale producers and help the buildings cover part of their operational costs. According to the city, the move would help the city save around 14,000 tons of CO2 annually.

At the same time, Mayor Fandakova announced that the city is developing a project with Metropoliten for introducing hydrogen fuel cells into the subway network. Although she did not get into detail, she said that the operator would test the new technology in one of the metro’s depots. Furthermore, she explained that hydrogen should help to cut energy consumption by half.

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