Chinese Firms Plan to Build Solar Facility in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Pictured: one of the entrances to Chernobyl's exclusion zone.

By Editors of Power Engineering

Two Chinese firms have announced plans to build a solar power facility within the irradiated exclusion zone surrounding the former Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine.

GCL System Integration Technology, a subsidiary of the GCL Group, and China National Complete Engineering Corp. are partnering on the project, according to a GCL press release. Construction on the 1-GW plant should begin in 2017.

"There will be remarkable social benefits and economical ones as we try to renovate the once damaged area with green and renewable energy,” said Mr. Shu Hua, Chairman of GCL-SI. “We are glad that we are making joint efforts with Ukraine to rebuild the community for the local people.”

The Ukranian government originally sought to bring energy resources to the area, which spreads out over 1,004 square miles. The former USSR established the zone in the wake of the 1986 disaster at the plant in order to restrict the spread of radiological contamination and limit human contact.

"Its cheap land and abundant sunlight constitute a solid foundation for the project,” said Ostap Semerak, Ukraine's minister of environment and natural resources. “In addition, the remaining electric transmission facilities are ready for reuse."

CCEC will act as the general contractor for the project, with GCL offering consultancy and planning as well as PV facilities.

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