Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Chinese Companies Propose Grid-Scale Solar Plant In Chernobyl

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Originally published on Solar Love.

Repurposing land that can’t be used for other purposes is a familiar theme in the solar industry. Recently, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina elected to install a solar farm atop a long abandoned land fill. In many parts of the world, solar panels are covering lakes and reservoirs. Now, two Chinese companies are proposing a $1 billion grid-scale solar farm atop the tortured land around the Soviet nuclear power plant at Chernobyl. Of all the land in the entire world, this may be the least productive and least likely to have any other useful purpose for the next 1,000 years or more.

A subsidiary of Golden Concord Holdings (GLC), one of China’s biggest renewable energy concerns, will supply and install solar panels at the site, while a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Machinery Corporation (Sinomach) will build and run the grid scale solar plant. “It is cheap land and abundant sunlight constitutes a solid foundation for the project,” says Ostap Semerak, Ukraine’s minister of environment and natural resources. “In addition, the remaining electric transmission facilities are ready for reuse.”

In a press release, GLC says that work on the proposed 1 gigawatt solar facility will probably start this year. “There will be remarkable social benefits and economical ones as we try to renovate the once-damaged area with green and renewable energy,” says Shu Hua, chairman of the GLC subsidiary. “We are glad that we are making joint efforts with Ukraine to rebuild the community for the local people.”

Radiation from the meltdown at the Chernobyl factory in 1986 reached as far away as the mountains and hills of Wales in the UK and a substantial portion of the radioactive dust released fell on farmlands in Belarus, north of Ukraine.

Until now, the exclusion zone, including the town of Pripyat, has been out of bounds for most people, with only limited farming activity permitted on lands that are still regarded as contaminated. Former residents of the area are allowed back only once or twice a year to visit their old homes or to tend their relatives’ graves. However, a growing number of tourists have been visiting the Chernobyl area recently.

There has also been renewed interest in Chernobyl due to recent major engineering work at the former nuclear power plant. A new steel-clad sarcophagus — described as the largest movable land-based structure ever built — is being wheeled into position over much of the structure to prevent any further leaks of radiation. At this time, Ukrainian officials and executives of the two Chinese companies have not disclosed what plans they have to protect the workers  who will construct the new solar facility near the site of the nuclear disaster.

Ecologists who have visited the exclusion zone around Chernobyl say that there is an abundance of wildlife in the area, with substantial populations of elk, deer, wild boar and wolves  but other researchers say there is still evidence of contamination in the area. They say that few insects have survived the disaster and that smaller mammals still show signs of radiation damage.

Will a new renewable energy facility make a fitting epitaph to the horror that befell Chernobyl?

Source: The Guardian  Photo credit: Viktor Drachev/TASS

Reprinted with permission.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

EV Obsession Daily!

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

Tesla Sales in 2023, 2024, and 2030

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


You May Also Like

Nuclear Energy

One nuclear industry safety assessment figure claims risks are only one-tenth as great as the historic record shows they are. If the people in...

Clean Power

Fear of nuclear power is vastly overrated as an issue among pro-nuclear advocates. Like conservatives in the USA up to the Secretary of the...

Clean Power

Chernobyl has been reclaimed to some degree this week as a long-awaited plan to install solar at the site of one of the worst...


We started this episode talking about the LMX-161 e-motorcycle, then got into Shell EV charging stations, Big Oil, natural gas, ad-supported EV charging stations,...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.