Chernobyl, Ukraine :At ground zero of Ukraine’s Chernobyl tragedy, workers in orange vests are busy erecting hundreds of dark-coloured panels as the country gets ready to launch its first solar plant to revive the abandoned territory. The new one-megawatt power plant is located just a hundred metres from the new “sarcophagus”, a giant metal dome sealing the remains of the 1986 Chernobyl accident, the worst nuclear disaster in the world. “This solar power plant can cover the needs of a medium-sized village”, or about 2,000 flats, Yevgen Varyagin, the head of the Ukrainian-German company Solar Chernobyl which carried out the project, told AFP. The solar installation is to go on stream within weeks, the company says. The group has spent one million euros on the structure which has about 3,800 photovoltaic panels installed across an area of 1.6 hectares, about the size of two football fields, and hopes the investment will pay for itself off within seven years. Eventually, the region is to produce 100 times the initial solar power, the company says. The amount of sunshine “here is the same as in the south of Germany,” says Varyagin. Ukraine, which has stopped buying natural gas from Russia in the last two years, is seeking to exploit the potential of the Chernobyl uninhabited exclusion zone that surrounds the damaged nuclear power plant and cannot be farmed.
Orignally published by APP