Ukraine is trying to give hydropower facilities “maximum protection” by hiding equipment underground as it repairs an estimated $1 billion in damage from Russian air strikes, according to Ihor Syrota, head of state-run hydropower generating company Ukrhydroenergo, Reuters reports.
Russia started its all-out invasion of Ukraine 13 months ago. Last October, Russia launched a strategic bombing campaign targeting Ukraine’s energy system. Waves or missiles and “kamikaze” drone attacks damaged and destroyed many energy facilities, at times leaving millions of people without power. Thanks to timely repairs and preventive measures by Ukrainian energy companies, the Russian missile attacks would cause increasingly less damage by the beginning of the spring.
Ihor Syrota told Reuters in an interview that four of Ukraine’s nine hydroelectric power plants sustained damage from Russian air attacks, which mainly targeted electrical equipment and machine rooms at the facilities situated on the Dnipro and Dniester rivers.
How Ukraine’s power grid survived a winter of Russian energy terror
Before the all-out war, the nine hydropower plants generated about 10% of Ukraine’s energy with a combined capacity of 6,300 megawatts (MW). Russian attacks resulted in the loss of about 2,000 MW of that capacity. Repair works restored 500 MW, and engineers plan to restore the rest as soon as possible, “this time with better protection,” Reuters says, citing Syrota.
“Everything we will be restoring and building – everything involves maximum protection. We will hide electrical equipment at existing stations,” he said.
According to Syrota, in new projects, “everything that was previously supposed to be on the surface will have a different structure, we will hide it (underground).”
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