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Report sees 1,200 MW of solar near ruined Chernobyl nuke as feasible

ENGIE SA subsidiary Tractebel Engineering S.A. submitted a report to Ukrainian authorities concluding it is feasible to build a solar energy facility of up to 1,200 MW in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant, the site of a disastrous meltdown in 1986.

"The possibility of transforming the symbolic site of Chernobyl into an immense solar plant is also an opportunity to turn the page to a bright new future," Caroline Tjengdrawira, senior project manager at Tractebel, said in a March 21 statement after a pre-feasibility study was presented March 19.

The French Ministry for the Economy and Finance funded the research project to assess the feasibility to install photovoltaic panels in the exclusion zone that spans more than 2,500 square kilometers around the nuclear plant site.

Ukraine first adopted a feed-in tariff in 2009 to support the development of renewable energy resources including wind, solar, biogas and hydro. It has been revised several times and runs to 2030. A premium is offered if certain percentages of a power project's components are of Ukrainian origin.