Greenpeace installed hybrid solar power plants at a school in Hostomel and an outpatient clinic in Mykolaiv

The Prime Minister of Ukraine called the Russian shelling on 22 March 2024 the most significant attack on energy facilities in Ukraine since the beginning of a full-scale war. With missile strikes on the rise and their outcomes becoming increasingly unpredictable, Greenpeace aims to bolster the energy resilience of Ukrainians through efficient and environmentally friendly means.

Hybrid solar power plant at the Mostyshche branch of Lyceum No. 1 in Hostomel

Deploying hybrid solar power systems at a school in Hostomel, Kyiv Oblast, and an outpatient clinic in Mykolaiv will reduce the use of diesel generators, thereby curbing adverse health effects on students and patients. Moreover, this initiative will significantly reduce utility costs, paving the way for both institutions to operate 100% on solar electricity in the coming months. Greenpeace Germany and Greenpeace Environmental Foundation funded the project. The systems were installed by the Ukrainian company Solar Service.

The hybrid solar system integrates solar panels and batteries, minimizing reliance on the vulnerable power grid susceptible to shelling. In cases where solar energy alone cannot meet the demands of the school and outpatient clinic, generators serve as a backup solution.

After the project proves successful, similar hybrid solar power plants could be installed in more schools, kindergartens, and hospitals across Ukraine, particularly near the contact line with unstable power supply. This initiative represents a fresh demonstration of the vast potential and advantages solar energy offers for Ukraine.

"Although there have been no widespread power outages this winter, Russia has not abandoned its goal of destroying Ukraine's energy infrastructure. As long as there are no blackouts, these solar hybrid power plants will help schools and outpatient clinics save on utility bills. In the event of blackouts, the system will help teachers continue the educational process, and patients receive proper medical care," says Greenpeace campaigner Polina Kolodiazhna.
Hybrid solar power plant at the Mostyshche branch of Lyceum No. 1 in Gostomel

One such station, equipped with 5 kW of solar panels and 10 kW of batteries, was installed at the Mostyshche branch of Lyceum No. 1 in Hostomel, Kyiv Oblast. In March 2022, the school was bombed by Russian forces, leaving only the interior walls and batteries intact, with 15 craters surrounding the area.

After the Kyiv region's de-occupation, the staff rebuilt their school. With the assistance of philanthropists, they successfully restored the building and classrooms and constructed a new, modern shelter.

The school's management had initially planned to install solar panels before the outbreak of the full-scale war. Still, the urgency of the idea became even more apparent after the reconstruction and power outages. The students and teachers still remember how difficult it was to study without reliable communication and the ability to charge laptops and phones and call their parents. Additionally, while diesel generators provided some relief during blackouts, they generated significant noise, environmental harm, and additional expenses for diesel fuel. Staff and students are now relieved that solar energy will ensure uninterrupted learning amidst new threats to Ukrainian electricity.

"We have already experienced the impact of this solar system. On the day of its installation, the weather was sunny, and we relied solely on one kilowatt from the main grid while the solar panels generated the remaining 13.5 kilowatts. Even on cloudier days, the solar panels contribute up to 30% of our electricity needs," says Nataliia Roh, head of the Mostyshche branch of Lyceum No. 1 of the Hostomel Village Council. "Our batteries store energy from the solar panels, allowing us to seamlessly use all our computers, printers, tablets, and scanners during power outages. We are thrilled with the results, and everyone admires our setup, noting that we now always have light!"

Another hybrid solar power plant was installed 25 kilometers from Mykolaiv in the Mala Korenyha district. During the full-scale war, the local outpatient clinic, part of Primary Health Care Center No. 6, continued operating without interruption, providing medical care and distributing humanitarian aid from the city.

Lilia Netochiy, nurse at family outpatient clinic No. 5 of the Primary Health Care Center No. 6 in Mykolaiv

The outpatient clinic faced its most formidable challenges during the fall and winter 2022-2023 power outages. Essential medicines and vaccines stored in refrigerators needed to be constantly maintained. During the blackouts, medical staff had to transport these critical supplies three to four times a day to other outpatient clinics equipped with refrigeration to prevent spoilage. The long distance to Mykolaiv made this task extremely exhausting.

During these difficult months, the management and medical staff of the outpatient clinic realized the value of green energy. Therefore, the outpatient clinic in Mala Korenysa readily accepted Greenpeace's proposal to install a hybrid solar power plant.

"We have become energy independent. Currently, amid Russian shelling in Ukraine, blackouts and emergency shutdowns are possible, and the presence of solar panels significantly facilitates life for the outpatient clinic," says Liliia Netochii, a nurse at Family Outpatient Clinic No. 5 of the Primary Health Care Center No. 6 in Mykolaiv. "We work with the elderly and children, vaccinate them, and now our medicines and vaccines are safe. The locals are pleasantly surprised because, during the war, no one expected us to care for the population like this. People are pleased that we now have a solar system."
Hybrid solar power plant on the roof of an outpatient clinic in Mala Koreniha
Contacts

Lucia Sumegova - partnership coordinator - lucia.sumegova@greenpeace.org 

Polina Kolodiazhna - partnership coordinator - pkolodia@greenpeace.org 

Daryna Rogachuk- communication officer -
daryna.rogachuk@greenpeace.org
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