March 20 (Solar) – Tractebel, the engineering unit of France’s Engie (EPA:ENGI), on Monday presented a preliminary feasibility study for a solar project in Chernobyl of up to 1.2 GWp, saying that it would be best to build it in blocks of 150 MW.
Two locations within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone have been identified as suitable for solar development. The radioactive contamination of the area makes the project more complicated than building solar plants at other parts of the world, but, on the other hand, existing infrastructure that served the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), including roads and substations, is there and can be used again, Bernard Hammer of Tractebel said at the presentation, as cited by Radio Svoboda.
According to the feasibility study, one 150-MW solar park would take about 17 months to build. Several such blocks can be built simultaneously.
In the summer of 2017, it was announced that France would support financially the feasibility study for solar power in Chernobyl. At yesterday’s presentation, Ukraine’s ecology minister Ostap Semerak thanked the French government for the financial support and said more than 60 companies have expressed interest in investing in solar projects in the exclusion zone. The first solar project in the area, of 1 MW, has been completed by a consortium comprising Ukraine’s Rodina Energy and German developer Enerparc AG.