Ukraine’s largest private energy group DTEK marked a milestone in the liberated Kherson region by regaining control of its first renewable energy plant in the war-torn area.

DTEK said the 10MW Tryfonivska solar plant is its first green power facility to return to Ukrainian hands after the country’s army drove back Russian forces that had occupied the area since the invasion early this year.

The energy company now wants to repair the damaged solar plant and “at the first opportunity, start producing electricity for the power system, which is important for Ukraine in the conditions of the energy crisis and winter", said DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko.

DTEK’s technicians will wait for permission from military authorities before starting work at the array, with the war-stricken country needing all the energy supplies it can get in the face of Russian attacks on critical infrastructure.

DTEK Renewables, the group’s renewable energy arm, has a 1GW wind and solar portfolio that – like the rest of the nation’s energy system – has been heavily affected by direct damage, disconnection or occupation by the Russians.

The Ukrainian government has stressed since the invasion how it plans to expand its renewable energy base, with a national 30GW target for 2030 and ambitions to become an exporter of green hydrogen to the EU.

Plans for a $25bn Ukrainian green growth fund were this month backed by the likes of green hydrogen pioneer Andrew Forrest, the Australian mining billionaire.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said: “We will take advantage of the fact that what the Russians have destroyed can readily be replaced with the latest, most modern green and digital infrastructure.”