Ukraine will strengthen its energy grid with renewables
By Anders Lorenzen
In war-torn Ukraine, much has been made of the huge effort to rebuild following the devastation, that war has brought to the country where millions of people have been displaced.
Even though there is no immediate prospect of an end to the war, one of the things critical to the country is energy. During last winter countless horrifying stories circulated about how Ukrainians were freezing in sub-zero temperatures with heating cut off. Energy is also one of the areas presenting an opportunity to make a big break from Russia, by moving away from fossil fuels, in order to embrace the EUs desire for more clean energy.
Largest wind farm in Ukraine
And now, DTEK, the largest private energy company in Ukraine, has moved forward with plans to build what would be the biggest wind farm in Ukraine to secure the country´s energy sector as they continue to endure Russian air strikes.
The 500 megawatts (MW) Tyligul wind farm has faced several delays. Construction started in 2021 but was interrupted when Russia invaded in February 2022. The wind farm is located less than 100 km from the frontline in the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine.
So far, the first phase of the project has been completed with 19 wind turbines in operation with a generation capacity of 114 MW, much of which has been built during wartime. Maxim Timchenko, chief executive officer of DTEK explained that what has been achieved so far during these difficult conditions called for celebration, and furthermore added that they’re now in preparation to install the remaining wind turbines to complete the project.
A very special project
Henrik Monefeldt, the regional head of FairWind the company that installed the wind turbines added: “This project is very special because it was constructed mostly in times of war. It has been strenuous for the guys, it has been interrupted multiple times – air alarms and missiles flying by. But … they have been so proud working on this for the simple fact that we are helping to supply energy to Ukraine.”
DTEK said that, apart from delivering critical energy security to the country, the project was also a key step forward to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
So far the war has been immensely costly for Ukraine’s energy infrastructure as the Russian attacks have caused widespread damage and left millions without electricity and heating during the winter. Ukraine is now racing against time to repair and strengthen the energy sector before the winter, and adding new low-carbon electricity is one of the strategies.