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Ukraine adds 1.7 gigawatts of power generation in a massive repair campaign ahead of winter as Russia continues attacks

Ukraine is undertaking its largest-ever effort to repair and reinforce its energy infrastructure before winter, as Russia persists in missile and drone attacks on power plants and grid networks.
Ukraine's energy workers
Ukraine’s energy workers repairs the power grid damaged by Russian missile strikes. Credit: Ukrenergo
Ukraine adds 1.7 gigawatts of power generation in a massive repair campaign ahead of winter as Russia continues attacks

On Friday, the Ukrainian Energy Ministry announced that of the planned 1.7 gigawatts of additional power generation capacity, 1.5 gigawatts have already been added to the system. The upgrades were achieved through modernizing thermal power units and restoring hydropower plants damaged in Russian strikes.

Nuclear power, which produced over 50% of Ukraine’s electricity even after the loss of the Zaporizhzhia plant, will again play a key role this winter. All nine nuclear reactors in Ukraine’s control are expected to operate at their full capacity.

Thermal power plants, heavily bombarded last winter, are expected to supply 4.5 gigawatts this heating season after repairs. Hydropower units targeted by Russia are projected to reach 2 gigawatts.

But Energy Minister Herman Haluschenko cautioned that Russia has not abandoned plans to continue assaults on energy infrastructure. Systemic attacks on power facilities will likely complicate Ukraine’s winter, he said.

The challenges that await us during the next heating season are enormous,” Haluschenko told parliament. “They are related to the attacks that Russia will continue to carry out massively and systematically on our energy system.

Last winter, Russia launched dozens of waves of attacks against the Ukrainian power grid, severely damaging thermal- and hydropower plants and substations. Ukrainians experienced massive blackouts. In the regions that were less affected, mainly in the west of Ukraine, electricity was mostly supplied 8-16 hours per day according to schedule. However, in some regions in the south, like Odesa, sometimes the electricity supply was cut for two days and then switched on for a few hours only to be cut again.

In 2023, Russia resumed its strikes against Ukraine’s power grid on 21 September. One of the targets of Russia’s massive air attack against Ukraine in the early hours of 21 September was an energy facility in Rivne Oblast in northwestern Ukraine, which caused a partial blackout in the region, according to local authorities. Also, the attack damaged a car service station and five cars.

Russia resumes air attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure: partial blackout in Rivne Oblast

In preparation for renewed Russian attacks on critical infrastructure, Ukraine procured 100 new transformers with half coming from domestic factories and half stored abroad until needed to replace destroyed equipment

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