TEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy company, has announced plans to transform its war-shattered electricity network in areas surrounding the capital Kyiv by building a smart grid capable of better withstanding military assault and able to accelerate Ukraine’s energy transition. The Kyiv regional power grid (which excludes the capital itself) was extensively damaged in spring 2022 as Russian forces advanced towards Kyiv city and again after October 2022 when Russia deliberately targeted Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure.
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 customers. Although they restored power in just 45 days, the network remains in need of extensive repairs and major upgrades to allow it to match modern European standards.
DTEK Grids, the grid operating business arm of DTEK, is seeking €2.4 billion of funding in a 10 year-project to transform the region’s power infrastructure. The plans, which must be approved by Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy, envisage building a smart grid with 20,000 km of new overhead and underground cables, 250 substations, 6,000 transformers and almost a million smart meters.
Key advantages include:
-A resilient smart grid infrastructure which still works even if one segment is damaged or destroyed.
-Stronger connectivity to power produced from renewables.
-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 which suffered suffered serious attacks after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. The company is seeking to attract initial funding of €145 million for the pilot programme.
Announcing the plans at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London last month, DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko said:
"DTEK seek to rebuild what was destroyed and construct a new power sector for Ukraine which is cleaner, innovative and more resilient. This investment will give the Kyiv region a world-class Smart Grid infrastructure which enables Ukraine’s energy transition: integrating renewable generation and preparing Ukraine to become a major clean energy hub for the European Union.”
DTEK Grids is Ukraine’s largest electricity distribution business, providing electricity to 5.6 million customers over 190,000 km of networks and through seven regional distribution system operators (DSOs) in including Kyiv City and the Kyiv Region.