The Ukrainian government announced that they have started works on transforming the Chernobyl radioactive wasteland into a huge solar energy farm.
The project aims to install solar panels inside the exclusion zone to generate 2.5 gW of power, which is around 50% of the nuclear plant’s capacity before the explosion of its fourth reactor in 1986. According to Ukraine’s Ecology Minister Ostap Semerak, the plans were already put into action with a Ukrainian-German firm already investing more than a million dollars in the farm’s construction. He said:
“Today we can talk about the first private investment in the zone – a small solar station that is being built.”
Better yet, this solar energy farm is just a part of a larger $1.1 billion energy project in Chernobyl that includes a biogas facility. Semerak stated that the whole undertaking is aimed to change the perception of the nuclear wasteland from a disaster zone to a new development in which 50 companies are already showing interest. He added:
“We can give everyone a chance. The potential is enormous . . . According to an initial estimate from the applications, this is in the region of 2.5 gigawatts. That’s comparable to two reactors of an atomic power plant.”
Developers are optimistic about the feasibility of the solar project given that the old facility still has its nuclear reactors and networks of power lines. While there are still radiation hotspots in the area, they have been extensively mapped, so they can be avoided during the installation process.