Ukraine shores up grid with solar panels
Ukrainian gas grid operator GTSOU said on March 17 it was equipping its gas distribution stations with solar panels to provide backup power supply, as Russia's invasion of the country has caused significant damage to electricity networks.
The project was launched before the conflict, in order to cut gas consumption and reduce emissions from the grid. But these panels enable the stations to operate autonomously in the event that the main power supply is cut off. The stations are also equipped with batteries, meaning that solar power stored during the day can be used to power the facilities at night.
"We planned to implement this project before the war, as one of the initiatives to optimise the consumption of energy resources," GTSOU CEO Sergiy Makogon said in a statement. "Today, when Ukraine's power grids are suffering from constant enemy fire, it is necessary for gas distribution stations to have autonomous power supply options to perform their functions."
Moscow's invasion of Ukraine is now in its 23rd day. Although Russian troops has stalled their advancement, having only managed to take one major Ukrainian city, Kherson, shelling of both military and civilian targets has intensified in recent days. GTSOU warned on March 10 that Russian troops and Moscow-backed rebels were trying to enter the territories of gas compressor stations in the Lugansk and Kharkiv regions, posing a threat to the flow of Russian gas via Ukraine to Europe.