Merger of Crimean and mainland electrical grids complete – Moscow
Russia has successfully linked the power grid of the Crimean peninsula to that of the nation’s mainland, Deputy Energy Minister Evgeny Grabchak said on Thursday. He added that efforts to construct new energy infrastructure would also be beneficial for Russia’s new territories.
Speaking at a video conference dedicated to the start up of three energy substations in Crimea, he noted that Russia’s federal budget was heavily investing in the development of the peninsula’s electrical grid.
“Even now, we can say that the full integration of the power grid of the Crimean Peninsula and the rest of the Russian Federation has been completed,” Grabchak stated, adding that the process would continue to other regions.
“Thanks to network construction activities, we can provide independent power supply to the new Russian territories, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions,” he added, referring to two areas, which, along with Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, overwhelmingly voted to join Russia this autumn.
The minister hailed the ongoing energy program as “having a systemic importance.” While noting that the authorities still have a lot to accomplish, future activities should allow them to “bring the [power] grid of the Crimean peninsula to a higher quality level in terms of reliability and security.”
Should Moscow succeed in its endeavors, “it would be possible to say that Crimea’s grid incorporates the most effective tech, which could serve as an example” for other territories, Grabchak stated.
Before 2014, when Crimea voted to join Russia after a coup in Kiev, it was heavily dependent on electricity generated in neighboring Zaporozhye Region, then part of Ukraine, as well as Nikolaev Region.
In 2015, Ukrainian saboteurs targeted the power infrastructure in order to put the peninsula under an “energy blockade,” causing blackouts that affected millions of local residents.