The Ukrainian government is reportedly exploring the possibility of constructing a solar power farm near Chernobyl, the infamous power plant that melted down in 1986.
A presentation being sent to prominent investment banks proposes that 6,000 hectares of “idle” land could be used to build a facility that generates more than 1,000 megawatts of solar and more than 400 megawatts of other forms of renewable power, according to The Guardian.
There a few advantages to installing the facility in the area ravaged by the nuclear fallout. Sunshine is still abundantly strong in this sector while there is plenty of cheap land to build these panels. The damage resulting from the meltdown made the surrounding land inhospitable for farming, forestry, and other forms of agricultural harvesting.
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Also, the power grid infrastructure and high-voltage power lines are still fully functional so workers would easily be able to monitor the structure from a distance and possibly fix errors quickly through a computer, since the land is still too polluted on which to set foot.
Plus, this development could reduce Ukraine’s reliance on importing natural gas from Russia, reported Bloomberg. Russia has threatened to withhold supplies from Ukraine over payment disputes for a few consecutive winters.
The Ukrainian government’s environmental minister Ostap Semerak told Bloomberg that two investment firms in the U.S. along with four Canadian energy companies have expressed interest in funding this venture although the price of this development has not been finalized yet.
“The Chernobyl site has really good potential for renewable energy,” said Semerak, 44, in a statement to the press. “We already have high-voltage transmission lines that were previously used for the nuclear stations, the land is very cheap and we have many people trained to work at power plants.”
A team of Ukrainian developers plans to install four megawatts of solar panels at the location before the end of 2016.