From the (somewhat literal) ashes of the Nuclear Power Plant springs the Chernobyl Solar Power Plant, which was officially launched with an opening ceremony on Friday.
The Solar Chernobyl project is headed up by the Ukranian energy company Rodina and Enerparc AG in Germany. Over 3,700 solar panels are arranged over about 1.6 hectares (4 ac), sitting just 100 m (328 ft) away from Reactor 4, ground zero of the 1986 disaster. The new power plant has been feeding energy into the Ukraine power grid since July 1, about 18 years after the last of the nuclear reactors was finally shut down.
Solar is a logical choice for the area. The 2,600-km2 (1,000-mi2) Exclusion Zone is essentially sitting empty, unsafe to live in and unsuitable for farming – although the local wildlife seems to be enjoying our absence. As a bonus, much of the infrastructure needed to feed energy into the grid was already in place.