Keeping the lights on: How a Utah company is helping Ukrainians trapped in the war zone

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Frank Davis, founder and CEO of American Fork’s Lion Energy, shows how one of his company’s portable solar generators can create power for families and troops in Ukraine. (Meghan Thackery, KSL-TV)

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AMERICAN FORK – An extremely valuable shipment of portable solar generators is heading to the war zone in Ukraine through an established connection in Utah County. Electricity and lighting are two of the most critical needs as the Russian invasion destroys Ukrainian infrastructure. This delivery will make a big difference to the families trying to survive and to the military trying to fend off the Russians.

The bombing of Ukraine has left many towns without electricity for lights, cell phones and other basic needs. American Fork’s Lion Energy makes portable generators that only need the sun to generate electricity. When the entrepreneur realized what they could do, his company started packing pallets with energy equipment.

“That’s one of the main things they’re looking for: portable power. It’s not available,” said Frank Davis, founder and CEO of Lion Energy.

For example, the company is shipping $400,000 worth of portable solar-powered generators and lighting to Ukraine.

“They contacted us this morning and said we had all these places to deliver where we desperately needed power,” Davis said. The Ukrainian government is ready to start putting the equipment to good use for families and soldiers.

Davis said the units will generate electricity and light for people hiding in bunkers and troops in the war zone. They send 150 small portable units and 50 medium and 50 large generators with their solar panels. They also send several dozen strings of LED lights.

“Anything you can plug into your home wall outlet, you can plug it in here: your fridge, your freezer. You name it, it’s a lot more powerful,” he said, pointing to one of generators.

Davis recently heard a presentation on humanitarian aid from Svitlana Miller and knew he could help, and so could she. Miller is originally from Ukraine and founder of toukrainewithlove.org.

“What he’s making here in Utah is what’s needed the most right now in the war zone,” she said.

Miller was born in kyiv, came to Utah for college, and now lives in Idaho Falls. She has been sending humanitarian aid to her native country for several weeks through her charity. So she knows how desperately needed this type of equipment is.

“There are people without power. There are towns that have been bombed where people are left without homes. They live in bunkers,” Miller said.

His grandmother, father and cousins ​​still live there.

“Some of them we’ve lost contact with, some of them we talk to on a daily basis, and some of them are in bunkers,” Miller said.

Her husband has already delivered an aid shipment including food and basic necessities for families, as well as medical supplies and 25 drones for the army. Troops have already given him feedback, letting him know that these drones helped save the capital during a major assault.

“They said to me, ‘We just want to let you know that a battle took place last night, and thanks to your drones, we could see the enemy moving in two different directions, and we were able to prepare properly,” she added. noted.

People can find out more or donate to the charity here.

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