The Chernobyl area, home to the infamous nuclear meltdown 30 years ago may soon start generating electricity again. However, this time it would come from solar power. The meltdown of the nuclear facility in 1986 contaminated roughly 30 square kilometers or nearly 20 miles with vast quantities of radiation.
Earlier this week two Chinese companies, GCL System Integration Technology (GCL-SI) and China National Complete Engineering (CCEC), said they plan to start construction on a more than 1-gigawatt solar farm in the Chernobyl area of Northern Ukraine. The project would help rebuild the "exclusion zone,” which Ukraine’s government had signaled it wanted to do.
The Ukrainian government anticipated that the land could be ideal for renewable energy, particularly solar. “It's cheap land and abundant sunlight constitute a solid foundation for the project. In addition, the remaining electric transmission facilities are ready for reuse," said Ostap Semerak, Ukraine's minister of environment and natural resources.
Under the partnership between the two Chinese companies, CCEC will serve as the general contractor that manages the overall project. The other company, GCL-SI, will provide consulting services and solar panels for the project. Once completed, Chernobyl will re-catch the global attention as a revived site of solar energy, the companies said. Indeed, at 1 gigawatt, it will be among the largest solar farms in the world.
"There will be remarkable social benefits and economical ones as we try to renovate the once damaged area with green and renewable energy. We are glad that we are making joint efforts with Ukraine to rebuild the community for the local people," said Mr. Shu Hua, chairman of GCL-SI. He added, ”We have been dedicated to providing integrated solar services and will take diverse approaches this year to drive penetration and achieve global presence. The Chernobyl project is also one of our key steps to approach abroad."Tweet