Ukraine to lease area of Chernobyl nuclear plant for solar project


Ukraine’s project to make the Chernobyl’s nuclear wasteland into a solar energy hub has taken another step forward.

The State Property Fund of Ukraine (SPF) has announced it is now seeking solar developers interested in leasing a surface of 2.5 million square meters at a facility of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. In a statement published on its website, the agency said the area will be leased for a period of 49 years, and that it can host a solar power plant with a maximum capacity of 100 MW.

The Ukrainian government had announced in late May it intended to accelerate the procedures to select PV developers interested in investing in the project to convert the contaminated area of the nuclear disaster into a huge solar park. At the time, the country’s prime minister Volodymyr Groysma said the government had begun defining bidding conditions for all interested investors, as well as a clear and transparent auction mechanism.

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Later in June, the French energy company Engie began a pre-feasibility study to assess the viability of building a GW-size solar farm in the radioactive zone surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Furthermore, there are several more companies interested that have applied for an allocation of land parcels to build solar in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone since the beginning of the year. Ukraine’s State Agency for Managing the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone had received 39 applications for the allocation of land parcels to build solar power plants in the Chernobyl Zone as of January 1, 2017.

The Ukrainian government announced its 1 GW solar plan for the Chernobyl area in 2016. The first move made by Ukraine’s parliament at the time was to adopt a bill to reopen the exclusion zone to business developments.

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