The way Rinat Akhmetov’s DTEK company constructed Tyligulska WPP amid war /пресс-служба ДТЕК
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The way Rinat Akhmetov’s DTEK company constructed Tyligulska WPP amid war

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пресс-служба ДТЕК

In the middle of May the DTEK Renewables company that belongs to Rinat Akhmetov’s energy holding commissioned the 1st phase of Tyligulska WPP in the Mykolaiv region, the wind power plant has already started working for the energy supply of the country.

These are 19 wind turbines of total capacity 114 MW, most of them have been constructed during the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine, which is an unexampled experience for the world.

The preparatory works for the construction of the wind power plant started in 2020. DTEK Renewables planned to commission the 500 MW wind power plant of 83 turbines in August 2022, right on the Independence Day of Ukraine. However, February 24th, 2022, has completely changed the plans – the project stopped.

At the same time, the faith in Ukrainian military forces allowed the energy professionals to make an important decision – to resume works and build the object in terms of war.

Read here for more about the first steps of implementing the idea of DTEK Tyligulska WPP, how the team prepared and what challenges they faced.

First reaction to the invasion

At the end of winter 2022, 100 km of technological ways and 630 km of power accumulation cable had been laid, 6 wind turbines installed. The project implementation was proceeding at full speed.

ʼThe war caught our team at 4 a.m. All of us woke up to loud cannonade. At that time, our partners, on the recommendation of their embassies, had already left, taking their equipment with them. We were left without cranes, without supervisors to oversee the installation process» – says Oleh Solovei, the director of Tyligulska WPP.

пресс-служба ДТЕК

In the middle of May the DTEK Renewables company that belongs to Rinat Akhmetov’s energy holding commissioned the 1st phase of Tyligulska WPP in the Mykolaiv region, the wind power plant has already started working for the energy supply of the country. Фото пресс-служба ДТЕК

Thus, Ukraineʼs most ambitious 500 MW green energy project was suspended for some time. Tyligulska WPP was supposed to be the largest wind power plant with the latest EnVentus Vestas 6.0 MW turbines not only in Ukraine but also in Eastern Europe

A bit later, in April 2022, DTEK Renewables started conservation of the unfinished foundations to preserve them for the future construction.

The success of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in de-occupying southern Ukraine encouraged the company to resume construction of the wind power plant, and this idea was supported by the companyʼs supervisory board and SCM investor Rinat Akhmetov last July.

«We believe in Ukraineʼs victory and at one point we realized that we needed to continue building the wind power plant taking into account the difficult situation in the power system. This additional generation was necessary to get us through the most difficult winter in Ukraineʼs history, amid constant shelling and destruction of energy infrastructure,» said CEO of DTEK Renewables Oleksandr Selyshchev.

In terms of safety, all necessary measures were taken, special trainings on evacuation and first aid were held with specialists from Vestas and other contractors. The companyʼs security service has developed additional patrol routes and rapid response security teams.

пресс-служба ДТЕК

At the end of winter 2022, 100 km of technological ways and 630 km of power accumulation cable had been laid, 6 wind turbines installed. The project implementation was proceeding at full speed. Фото пресс-служба ДТЕК

Active phase of construction

The main installation of the wind power plantʼs 13 turbines took place in winter. Thatʼs when the enemy attacks on the power grids and blackouts began. Air alerts took about 20% of the working time, and deteriorating weather conditions (wind, fog, icing) took another 38%.

«We did not understand whether we could continue construction without foreign partners. We had been preparing and assessing our capabilities for some time. In Ukraine, no one has ever done such projects without partnership with foreigners. Because all supervision and high-tech operations have always been carried out by foreign partners,» says Oleh Solovei.

The team put the wind turbines together like puzzles. The turbine construction technology was planned for standard, non-military conditions, when the only obstacle might be the weather, not an air raid warning and the risk of being shelled.

«The air raid alert is over, but that doesnʼt mean you start doing anything right away. It takes about half an hour to get back, get up, get ready. The attacks exhausted people both psychologically and physically. But we managed, we learned how to plan our work with a reserve. We realized how important it is for the country to complete this construction,» adds Artem Smyrnov, Head of the Construction Department.

Tyligulska WPP has become a major growth project for the DTEK Renewables team, with each employee gaining invaluable experience that will be useful to the company in the future.

Currently, the projected annual electricity production of the first stage of Tyligulska Wind Power Plant is 390 million kWh, which is enough to cover the needs of up to 200 thousand households. The wind power plant will also have a positive environmental impact, saving up to 400,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

The wind power plant will get bigger

ʼThe next step – is the phase II, the construction of 64 wind turbines and achieving the WPP’s 500 MW design capacity. With this project we all went beyond our capabilities and showed what we are capable ofʼ – emphasizes CEO of DTEK Renewables Oleksandr Selyshchev.

 

пресс-служба ДТЕК

The main installation of the wind power plantʼs 13 turbines took place in winter. Thatʼs when the enemy attacks on the power grids and blackouts began. Air alerts took about 20% of the working time, and deteriorating weather conditions (wind, fog, icing) took another 38%. Фото пресс-служба ДТЕК

DTEK’s plans to expand the Tyligulska WPP are part of the companyʼs broader strategy to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2040 and help Ukraine become a clean energy exporter to the European Union. They remain dependent on additional financing of USD 450 million, mainly from foreign investors and, crucially, from state-backed international financial institutions.

The completion of the wind power plant will make it the largest in Eastern Europe and will additionally provide clean energy to homes and businesses in southern Ukraine, which are largely affected by power outages due to shelling of the energy infrastructure. 

Projects like this contribute to strengthening Ukraineʼs energy security and help build new energy even in the difficult conditions of war.

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