Chernobyl Goes Solar

A partnership between Rodina Energy Group Ltd. and Enerparc AG is working on a 1-megawatt solar facility, slated for completion by the end of the year.

pripyat-1374515_1920Ukrainian engineering firm Rodina Energy Group Ltd. and Hamburg-based clean energy company Enerparc AG will develop the first solar project in the Chernobyl area. The project will be 1 megawatt in size and will cost roughly 1 million euros ($1.2 million) to develop, according to Rodina CEO Evgeny Variagin via Bloomberg.

Back in 2016, Ukraine’s minister of ecology announced a plan to revitalize the 1,000-mile plot of land surrounding the area of the nuclear meltdown that occurred in 1986. High levels of radiation, estimated to pollute the region around Chernobyl for around 180 to 320 years, make farming, hunting and forestry dangerous, so turning the area into a renewable energy farm is the best solution. In addition, the transmission lines that were intended to send electricity from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to the rest of Ukraine are already in place.

Rodina announced that 3,762 modules have been installed at the site, with specially designed mounting systems and foundations, due to additional requirements for site and radiological safety. The project is slated for completion by the end of 2017.

Honey to investors

This project is only the ice breaker—the partnership intends to invest 100 million euros ($119 million) to create upwards of 99 more megawatts of solar in the area. According to Bloomberg’s report, the Ukrainian government is offering cheap land to allure more investors. Among those interested are French energy giant Engie SA—the company is already conducting a pre-feasibility test with a gigawatt-sized project in mind—and Chinese companies GCL System Integration Technology Co. Ltd. and China National Complete Engineering Corp.

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