After years of abandonment of the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear plant, the Ukrainian authorities considered giving it a new use. In 2013, the way to turn the Te Chernobyl nuclear power plant into a huge solar power plant emerged.
The Chernobyl nuclear plant suffered the worst nuclear accident in history when the core of its number 4 reactor exploded in 1985. The severity of the accident, together with poor management after the accident, generated a large amount of contaminated area and consequently abandoned .
30 years later, it was proposed to give it a new utility: the idea was to convert the area into a photovoltaic solar energy plant, solar thermal energy and biogas generation. The objective was ambitious since it would become the largest solar plant in the world.
According to the initial project, the new solar plant would generate a third of the electric power generated by the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in full capacity.
The Chernobyl solar plant is part of a state policy for the promotion of renewable energy, through a subsidy program. In 2018, 500 megawatts of solar energy capacity was installed in Ukraine.
How Was the Solar Installation of Chernobyl Developed?
After launching the idea, in 2013 the RODINA - ENERPARC AG Solar Consortium was founded. This consortium was in charge of developing a strategy with the objective of building the solar power plant in the territories affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe.
Two years later, in 2015, work began on the project by searching for and selecting the ideal site for the construction of the clean energy installation.
Feasibility of the Chernobyl Solar Power Plant
In 2016, feasibility studies begin. The objective was to know if this energy project was feasible at the same time that a legal and financial scheme for the implementation of the plant was to be built.
The conciliation processes for land allocation began. At the same time, work began to be organized to connect the solar power plant to the power grid.
The land situation was very good for the development of this ambitious project. The generation of renewable energy in this area is cheap and abundant. The intensity of the sunlight it receives is similar to that of southern Germany, one of the world's largest producers of solar energy.
In addition, there was already the infrastructure of the network and the high-voltage power lines necessary to supply electricity to the national grid since they were intact after the nuclear accident.
Finally, construction work began in 2017.
How Did the Chernobyl Solar Power Plant Project End?
The Chernobyl solar power plant has been in operation since 2018. 32 years after suffering the most serious nuclear accident in history, Chernobyl again generated kilowatts of electricity.
In the first quarter of 2018, the solar power plant was put into operation, and on June 12, 2018 Solar Chernobyl obtained a power fee. From July 1, 2018 Chernobyl began supplying electricity to the network of the United Energy System of Ukraine. On this occasion, "green tariff" was applied to the energy generated by the plant.
Currently, the solar installation consists of 3,800 solar panels, capable of generating enough energy for 2,000 homes. This is a joint project of the Ukrainian company Rodina and the German company Enerpac AG. The cost of building this facility is approximately 1 million euros.