Russian missiles partially destroyed a solar power plant in Merefa outside Kharkiv on Saturday, according to various news reports and local media outlet Suspilnie Kharkiv. A video posted online shows explosions at night time at the solar facility.
The solar plant generates up to 3.9 megawatts, according to a 2019 promotional video, which is enough to power perhaps a few thousand homes depending on electricity usage. The two missiles destroyed portions of the 21-acre solar farm, but the majority of the site’s 13,680 panels appear to be undamaged.
According to the solar industry trade publication PV Magazine, 37 percent of Ukraine’s solar capacity is in areas with armed conflict and the Ukraine’s renewable energy trade group has accused Russian soldiers of dismantling and stealing solar equipment.
So far, Ukraine has managed to avoid massive blackouts despite fighting in and around its power system. In March, Russian troops opened fire at Zaporizhzhia, the largest nuclear power station in Ukraine and all of Europe, starting a fire at an administrative building and disconnecting the plant from the grid. Zaporizhzhia was reconnected to the grid in late March.