Ukrenergo proposes to build hundreds of mini-power plants to counter Russian strikes
Illustrative photo: Ukrenergo

The construction of hundreds of small power plants throughout Ukraine is the only way to secure the energy system from the severe consequences of Russian attacks, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the chairman of the board of NPC Ukrenergo, announced during a briefing.

"The concentration of generation at several sites is what leads to serious problems in the event of massive enemy attack. We, as an energy system operator, understand that the only sustainable way to secure the energy system from such massive terror is to decentralize generating capacities," said Kudrytskyi.

It is necessary to build hundreds of small power plants that will be more resistant to massive attacks precisely because of their dispersion. Accordingly, the attacks will not lead to such severe consequences for the power system as they do now.

"Today, solar and wind power plants are already being built in Ukraine – without the 'green' tariff, based on investors' forecasts regarding the return on investment. In addition to them, we also need technologies for balancing," said the head of Ukrenergo.

According to the company's calculations, the energy system needs a new heat generation – but not coal, but one that will work on waste from the woodworking industry, agricultural sector, etc. In addition, the power system needs peaker plants (small highly maneuverable gas-powered power plants) and electricity storage systems.

Geographically, such generation should be spread over the entire territory of the state.

Kudrytskyi emphasized that the construction of new power plants is hindered by debt on the balancing market, because it scares away investors. Ukrenergo wants to pay off debts in the balancing market this year.

In 2022, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced that Ukraine began deploying a network of gas turbine and gas piston mini-power plants. At the same time, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine is moving towards decentralization in the energy sector. The first gas piston power plant in Ukraine with a capacity of 1 MW was opened on January 31, 2023 in the city of Irpin.

Since March 2024, Russia has intensified attacks on Ukraine's energy system. Overnight on March 22, Russia used 63 kamikaze drones and 88 missiles of various types to attack Ukraine. Anti-aircraft defense managed to shoot down 55 Shahed drones and 37 missiles. Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the chairman of the board of NPC Ukrenergo, called this assault the biggest attack on the energy system of Ukraine during the war.

Another powerful attack took place on March 29. Then the Russians used 60 Shaheds and 39 missiles, and the air defense managed to shoot down 58 drones and 26 missiles.

As a result of the strikes, the Dnipro HPP in Zaporizhzhya, the Kharkiv CHP-5, the Zmiyiv TPP of the Centernergo company, the Burshtyn and Ladyzhyn TPPs of the DTEK company were destroyed.