Ukraine latest – new wind farm starts up, amidst continuing bombardment

23 May 2023

The world’s only wind farm being built in a major conflict zone has been officially opened by DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy company.

Phase I of the $200 m Tyligulska wind power plant, which lies 100 km from the frontline in the southern region of Mykolaiv, is already generating power. The plant’s 19 turbines, 6 MW Enventus machines by Vestas, have an installed capacity of 114 MW. The decision to build Tyligulska WPP was taken in 2020 as part of DTEK’s strategy to expand its renewables portfolio. The plans for the $450 m Phase II envisage adding up to 64 turbines to raise the potential output to 500 MW. That will make Tyligulska the largest WPP in Eastern Europe, and boost DTEK’s green energy capacity from 1 GW to 1.5 GW.

DTEK’s hopes to expand Tyligulska as part of the company’s broader strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 and help Ukraine become a clean energy exporter to the European Union.

Under fire

On the evening of 15 May, one of DTEK Energy's thermal power plants was again targeted by shelling. Fortunately, there were no casualties. However, the plant's equipment was damaged. After the shelling stopped, the power company started repairs. It was the third attack on the company's generating facilities since the beginning of May. Since September 2022, DTEK Energy's power plants have been attacked 33 times. As a result, three power engineers have been killed and 28 injured. Contractors and rescue workers were also killed or wounded during these attacks.

From May 8 to 15, DTEK repair crews restored power to 41 000 homes in 35 settlements of the Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions that had been left without power due to shelling. Russian forces continue to damage the grids, especially in the Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions that are located close to the buffer zone. DTEK Grids workers have restored electricity to 39 000 homes in Donetsk and almost 2000 families in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Since the beginning of a full-scale war, DTEK has restored electricity to 7.6 million families in the Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, and Donetsk regions, as well as in the city of Kyiv, some of them on dozens of occasions.

Currently, seven power units are in the process of being repaired at different stages of readiness. According to preliminary data, the company's investments in the repair campaign at thermal power plants in the first four months of the year amounted to over UAH 890 million ($24 million). Estimates suggest that almost UAH 7 billion ($189 million) is needed to restore the equipment damaged and destroyed by the Russians at TPPs.

Image: DTEK's Tyligulska wind power plant (courtesy of DTEK)

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