The darkened Independence Square in Kyiv, November 3, 2022, Ukraine.
Kyiv – Two underground main electrical substations could be built in Ukraine by next winter, which will better withstand Russian air attacks. The Ministry of Regional Development is working together with the Ukrainian energy company Ukrenerho on the project of transferring electrical substations underground. Referring to an unnamed official working in the Ukrainian energy sector, Forbes magazine wrote about it in its Russian-language edition.
Placing the most important equipment of the electrical substation in an underground bunker is the only way to protect it from rocket attacks, Oleksandr Kharchenko, director of the Center for Energy Research, told the magazine. The main disadvantage of such a solution is its high price. A typical electrical substation in 2021 cost about 30 million dollars (approximately 665 million crowns). However, the price of underground substations is about 20 to 25 percent higher, found out a magazine by Yuriy Kasych, who headed Ukrenerho in 2014 and 2015.
There are a total of 90 main electrical substations and tens of thousands of smaller ones in Ukraine substations. Russian missiles mainly target large substations and, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, they have already damaged half of them since October last year, when Russia began massive attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure. Transferring all 90 of Ukraine's main substations underground would cost three billion dollars (66.5 billion crowns), noted Forbes. Moving all of these 90 devices would take three to five years, Kharchenko estimated.
“The current task is to build two protected substations as quickly as possible,” but his unnamed source from the Ukrainian energy industry told the magazine. According to the same source, these devices could already be used during the next heating season.