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

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AMERICAN FORK — An extremely valuable shipment of portable solar-powered generators is headed for the war zone in Ukraine thanks to a connection made 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 for families trying to survive, and the military trying to repel the Russians.

The bombing of Ukraine has left many towns without power for lights, cellphones and other critical needs. Lion Energy of American Fork makes portable generators that only need sunshine to produce power. When the head of the company realized what they could do, his company started packing pallets with energy equipment.

"It's one of the number one things they are looking for: portable power. It's not available," said Frank Davis, founder and CEO of Lion Energy.

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

"They contacted us this morning and said we have all of these places to deliver where we desperately need power of any kind," Davis said. The Ukrainian government is ready to start putting the equipment to good use for families and soldiers.

Davis said the units will produce power and light for people hiding in bunkers, and troops in the war zone. They are sending 150 small portable units and 50 medium and 50 large generators along with their solar panels. They are also sending several dozen strings of LED lights.

"Anything you can plug into your home wall socket, you can plug into this: your refrigerator, your freezer. You name it, it's much more powerful," he said, demonstrating one of the generators.

Davis recently heard a humanitarian aid presentation from Svitlana Miller, and knew he could help, and so did she. Miller is a native Ukrainian and founder of

"What he manufactures right here in Utah is what is 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's been sending humanitarian aid back to her homeland for several weeks through her charity. So, she knows how desperately this kind of equipment is needed.

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

Her grandmother, father and cousins still live there.

"Some of them we've lost touch with, some we talk to daily, and some of them are in bunkers," Miller said.

Her husband already delivered a load of aid including food and necessities for families, and medical supplies and 25 drones for the military. Troops have already given her feedback, letting her know those drones helped save the capital in a major assault.

"They told me, 'We just want to let you know that a battle took place last night, and because of your drones we were able to see the enemy moving in from two different directions, and we were able to prepare properly," she said.

People can learn more or donate to the charity here.

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