Ukraine’s DTEK planning 2.4 billion euro upgrade for war-hit energy grid in Kyiv region

Ukraine’s largest private energy company DTEK has announced that it is planning to transform its war-shattered electricity network in areas surrounding Kyiv by building a smart grid capable of withstanding military assault and able to accelerate Ukraine’s energy transition.
Ukraine’s DTEK planning 2.4 billion euro upgrade for war-hit energy grid in Kyiv region
DTEK CEO Maxim Timechenko at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London. Courtesy of DTEK.

The Kyiv regional power grid, which excludes the capital itself, was extensively damaged in spring 2022 as Russian forces advanced towards Kyiv, and again after October 2022 when russia deliberately targeted Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure. Moscow’s attacks are now subject to separate investigations from the International Criminal Court and United Nations over possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.

After Ukrainian forces liberated areas near the capital in the first months of the war, DTEK crews from around Ukraine immediately moved in to reconnect homes and businesses. Although they restored power in just 45 days, the network remains in need of extensive repairs and major upgrades to raise it to modern European standards.

Ukrainian grid operating business DTEK Grids is therefore seeking 2.4 billion euros of funding for a 10-year project to transform the region’s power infrastructure. The plans, which need to be approved by Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy, envisage building a smart grid with 20,000 kilometres of new overhead and underground cables, 250 substations, 6,000 transformers and nearly a million smart meters.

Key advantages include:

A resilient smart grid infrastructure that will continue to operate even when individual segments are damaged or destroyed

Increased usage of power produced from renewable sources

Digital Twin technology allowing engineers to model how the upgraded network will function

A flexible system enabling consumers to become contributors through ‘home-grown’ energy from household solar panels or even by de-charging car batteries

DTEK Grids is planning to test the new grid concept in a three-year pilot phase across Irpin-Bucha-Borodyanka, an area 15 miles from the capital that suffered now-infamous attacks after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. The company is seeking to attract initial funding of 145 million euros for the pilot.

“DTEK does not seek to only rebuild what was destroyed but to build a new power sector for Ukraine that is cleaner, innovative and more resilient” said DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko, announcing the plans at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London. “This investment will give the Kyiv region a world-class Smart Grid infrastructure that enables Ukraine’s energy transition: integrating renewable generation and preparing Ukraine to become a major clean energy hub for the European Union.”

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