By launching the project “Ray of hope” with Enel, the European Commission is taking a first step as part of the wider initiative announced by President von der Leyen on donations of solar panels to Ukraine during her visit to Kyiv on 2 February 2023, according to an EC release.
Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, the CEO of Enel, Francesco Starace, and Ukrainian Minister of Energy, German Galushchenko, met in hybrid format today to welcome Enel’s commitment to donate to Ukraine 5,700 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels of 350 Watt each, for a total capacity of around 2 MW. The donated solar PV panels will cover up to 11,400 square meters of roofs split among different public buildings in Ukraine. The delivery is set to take place by summer 2023.
“Following my announcements in Kyiv one month ago, today we can announce that a first batch of solar panels will be delivered to Ukraine soon. I want to thank Enel which is donating 5,700 solar panels to Ukraine. These solar panels are produced in Europe, in Catania, with the support of the European Innovation Fund. They will provide electricity to schools, hospitals and fire departments. I am convinced that other European companies as well as Member States will be inspired by this first step, so that Ukraine can rely on clean electricity, produced at home,” says President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
“This project starts a wider initiative to increase Ukraine’s energy security by developing their renewable capacities. It shows European solidarity in action and showcases how investment in clean tech manufacturing can make Europe more energy secure and independent. I am very grateful to Enel for this generous donation to Ukraine. Once again, Enel proves to be a frontrunner, not only as a company at the cutting edge of clean tech innovation, but also for its corporate social responsibility. We are proud that EU-produced solar panels will help increase energy security for schools, hospitals and other public buildings in Ukraine,” adds Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson.
“We would like to thank the European Commission for involving us in this important initiative, through which we can contribute to the continued functioning of essential public services in Ukraine. The PV panels we are donating were produced by our 3Sun Gigafactory, which is an Italian excellence paving the way towards greater energy independence in Europe by helping reshore the PV value chain. These panels will generate clean, sustainable and reliable power, helping key public buildings in Ukraine, such as schools and hospitals, to become self-sufficient in terms of energy. With this project, we are offering a ‘ray of hope’ to the people of Ukraine, who are deeply suffering as a result of the ongoing war,” also says Enel CEO, Francesco Starace.
Ukrainian Minister of Energy, German Galushchenko, adds: “Gradual decentralisation of Ukraine’s energy system is a guarantee of its security and resilience against Russian attacks. In pursuing this course, the Ministry of Energy will focus on stimulating the development of green energy. It is especially important today to expand the capacity for autonomous power supply of facilities that are vital for the country’s functioning. We are grateful to Enel, all European companies and the European Commission, for their strong support and solidarity in our fight for life, light and heat in our Ukrainian homes.”
This initiative is part of a wider effort undertaken by the EU to ensure off-grid solutions aimed at supplying electricity to key public civilian buildings in Ukraine. Following continued Russian attacks on Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure, the EU is providing 5,400 energy generators. The solar PV panels will play a similar role, as they will allow public buildings in Ukraine to rely on self-generated electricity.
The panels donated by Enel will be transported with the logistical support of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) and the Energy Community. The panels will be allocated to key public buildings in Ukraine providing essential public services, such as education and health, according to the priority list established by the Ukrainian government. The independent oversight of the distribution and installation process in Ukraine will be established by the Energy Community Secretariat in cooperation with respective Ukrainian authorities.
All the solar panels donated by Enel were produced in the Italian 3Sun Gigafactory in Catania, Sicily, which is set to become the largest PV module manufacturing plant in Europe by increasing its current annual production capacity of 200 MW to about 3 GW per year by 2024 with a planned investment of approximately €600 million. The project, which is called ‘TANGO’, i.e. iTaliAN Giga factOry, was one of seven initiatives selected by the European Commission as part of the first Innovation Fund call for large-scale projects, and was awarded funding worth up to €118 million. The project was also submitted in the call to access the funds in Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) relating to Mission M2C2 Investment 5.1 ‘Renewable energy and batteries’ – sub-investment 5.1.1 ‘PV Technology’, with a Development Contract managed by the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy (MIMIT). These two funds could bring the total funding for the project up to a maximum amount of €188 million.