Belarus is building a 22.3 MW solar power station near Chernobyl
If the land has been subjected to intensive contamination with radionuclides and taken out of agricultural use, this does not mean that it is lost to the national economy. Just the opposite. The land in the Chernobyl zone is so cheap that it is beneficial to develop some projects there. For example, to build solar power plants.
Such a project was launched in Belarus by the mobile operator Velcom ("daughter" of Telekom Austria). The firm rented 56 hectares of land in the Bragin district in the south-east of the country, in close proximity to the sarcophagus of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The construction of the largest solar power plant in Belarus with a capacity of 22.3 MW began there.
The solar power plant consists of 85,000 solar panels and 800 km of cables between them. In addition, the contractor will have to build a high-voltage line with 23 poles and a 110 kV transformer. The total cost of the project is 23 million euros. The solar station will be put into operation in the summer of 2016. Work is already underway.
Velcom has over 3,000 base stations throughout the country . Velcom hopes that the solar installation will cover 50% of the company's electricity needs. Thus, the station will pay for itself in 4-5 years. “Everything depends on the sun,” said Helmut Douz, general manager of the Austrian company.
Bragin district - the southernmost region of Belarus. It is located at the same latitude as Leipzig, Saratov or Astana.There are 1900 hours of sunshine a year, which is only 10% less than in Sochi.
“The interests of business, the state and society converge in the development of green energy. Here and energy security, and concern for the environment, and the development of the local economy. It is important that the project creates new jobs and helps to revive the territories affected by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, ”said Helmut Douz.
Given the favorable natural and economic conditions in the Chernobyl zone (a lot of sun, cheap land, free from arable fields), the development of solar energy here can be a great success.