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Tesla Powerwall Shipment Fires Up Ukraine’s Energy Fight Before Winter

More than 500 Tesla Powerwalls have arrived in Ukraine to support critical infrastructure, with transportation funding support from Direct Relief.


Ukraine Relief

Ukrainian Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov with Tesla Powerwalls to support power resiliency for critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Transportation funding for the Powerwalls was provided by Direct Relief. (Photo courtesy of the Government of Ukraine)

UKRAINE – After months of devastating Russian missile attacks on critical infrastructure, Ukraine’s energy capacity has been boosted with hundreds of Tesla Powerwall 2 storage systems supplied by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Direct Relief and other partners.

“These are Tesla Powerwalls, 508 mighty power stations and gigantic power banks that will energize schools, hospitals and kindergartens all around Ukraine,” Ukrainian Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said in a video of gratitude to the project participants. “For some, that is an opportunity to study, for others – to gain strength and knowledge, to save life and live life. Thank you.”

The units were supplied jointly by Tesla, Poland’s government and National Institute of Telecommunications, Fedorov’s ministry, and Direct Relief and its partner in the city of Kharkiv, the Yevgen Pyvovarov Charity Fund. Direct Relief provided funding for the importation of the panels into Ukraine.

The Powerwall 2 is a rechargeable 13.5 kWh lithium-ion battery that can provide power during peak times, outages, and at night. The PW2 can draw solar power or recharge from the grid during off-peak hours and can be stacked in clusters of up to ten units to maximize capacity. Solar power support is not included in the shipment, which would require additional systems.

Tesla Powerwalls are staged in Ukraine for power resiliency of critical infrastructure, including hospitals and health facilities. (Photo courtesy of the Government of Ukraine)

Each of the PW2 units is accompanied by a Backup Gateway 2 system, which enables energy management and monitoring for solar self-consumption (if configured), time-based control, and backup. This means that outages to the grid are automatically detected, and a seamless transition to backup power is ensured.

This will be especially valuable in the coming winter season, following last year’s breakdown of many vital services in the cold months due to Russian strikes. These so far caused more than $10 billion in damages and left over 12 million people with no or limited electricity, while also disrupting water supply and heating systems, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank report said in April.

Given the high retail market price of the Tesla units abroad – approximately $16,000 in the United States for one Powerwall and Gateway set – their provision will also help alleviate financial pressure on authorities working to maintain critical and social infrastructure in the country.

The transfer of the systems followed a complex multi-partner agreement process lasting several months.
“We started the negotiations in October after the first attacks on our critical infrastructure,” said Deputy Digital Transformation Minister Yegor Dubynskyi, adding that the first units will be supplied to hospitals and schools. “This is an efficient solution to keep running during the Russian missile terror. Thanks to [the Powerwalls], doctors will save lives, teachers will teach classes, and Ukrainian will stay in touch with their families.”

Last year, 50 Tesla Powerwalls were delivered to clinics and other infrastructure in frontline towns that suffered badly when Russia launched its full-scale invasion on February 24. These included Irpin and Borodyanka in the Bucha district west of Kyiv, liberated after four weeks of occupation by Russian troops moving on the capital.

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