USAID Helps Ukraine Strengthen Energy Security of Local Communities

January 5, 2024

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Energy Security Project (ESP), is helping Ukraine deploy a network of cogeneration units to strengthen the country’s energy security in the conditions of war.

In partnership with the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Energy and Housing and Utility, the Ministry of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine, NEURC, USAID deploys a network of small and medium cogeneration units and helps to implement legal reforms aimed at technical optimization and environmental sustainability of local district heating systems.

“Small and medium cogeneration, delivered by USAID to Ukraine this winter, will contribute to stable heat supply during the 2023-2024 heating season,” said Kathleen Kirsch, Energy Team Lead of the Office of Critical Infrastructure of USAID/Ukraine.

The district heating company in Starokostiantyniv, Khmelnytskyi oblast, recently completed the installation and grid connection of the first cogeneration unit (CGU) procured by the USAID ESP. Equipped with a gas piston engine, this CGU generates both heat and electricity to meet the electricity needs of the municipal boiler houses, thus ensuring uninterrupted heat supply to critical and social infrastructure facilities located nearby, as well as heat supply to residential buildings.

As part of the joint project with USAID ESP to install cogeneration units, DH companies, including Starokostiantyniv company, are investing their funds in developing design documentation, construction, and site arrangement, and construction of the necessary networks and connections. This winter, the CGUs provided by USAID ESP to local communities will contribute to a stable heat supply during the 2023-2024 heating season.

Last year, the Starokostiantyniv DH company procured a 500 kW CGU at its own expense, which allowed it to cover one-third of the company’s energy needs for critical infrastructure in the city. The installation of an additional cogeneration unit with a capacity of 1,067 kW, purchased by USAID ESP, allows the company to cover other companies’ electricity needs.  Moreover, this assistance will help to provide energy not only to the municipal boiler houses but also to other critical infrastructure facilities, including the local water utility. With the help of the installed CGUs, several health institutions, 8 schools, 9 kindergartens, two dormitories, and 16,500 people living in 150 apartment buildings will receive uninterrupted heat supply regardless of possible power outages.

“Our company is grateful to USAID for help! This will make it possible not only to provide a heat supply to the entire critical infrastructure of the city but also to allow the heat supply company to reach a new level of development. We will be able to reduce the cost of our company’s services due to the cost of electricity from CGU, as it is much lower than the market price. Our small town itself would not be able to buy such equipment by itself, since there are no such funds in the city budget. This help is very valuable for our community,” said Oleksandr Dushenko, head of the utility company “Teplovyk”.

USAID is procuring a total of 91 cogeneration units for 32 cities in Ukraine and two universities. When integrated into district heating systems, this equipment with a total capacity of 56.5 MW will power local critical infrastructure facilities such as boiler houses, heat substations, water and wastewater pumping stations, and provide stable heat to more than one million residents and about 1,000 social facilities.

The small- and medium-capacity cogeneration units procured and transferred to local communities by USAID ESP will allow DH companies to generate electricity for their own needs or sale to the grid, not only during the ongoing war but also after it ends.

Despite Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukraine’s power system, USAID is actively working to strengthen the country’s energy infrastructure by implementing modern and efficient technological solutions.