What was once a fallout zone, after the catastrophic explosion had plagued the Ukrainian atmosphere, has now become the site for an Ukrainian-German renewable energy project called Solar Chernobyl. It will be a 1MW (megawatt) plant, with 3,800 photovoltaic panels. The structure spans two football pitches in size,“This solar power plant can cover the needs of a medium-sized village”, said Yevgen Varyagin, head of Solar Chernobyl.
The company already has a 4.2MW plant in the Republic of Belarus, a neighbouring country, however, their latest Chernobyl project is one of 60 proposals recognised by the Ukrainian government since the land around the destroyed nuclear power plant was made safe for such developments. A steel shelter was constructed around the infamous nuclear plant in 2016 to contain further fall-out. In fact, Solar Chernobyl’s panels had to be installed on concrete slabs as the soil is still contaminated, making drilling and digging into the ground forbidden. Despite the extra measures, building at the site proved convenient for Solar Chernobyl, as they were able to utilise the nuclear power plant’s already established connection to the power grid following completion of their structure. “Bit by bit we want to optimise the Chernobyl zone,” Said Yevgen Varyagin. “It shouldn’t be a black hole in the middle of Ukraine.”
Other companies and authorities in the Ukraine are also looking to take advantage of the wide expanse of land that was once quarantined.
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