Chernobyl’s exclusion site, the location of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, is now home to a giant solar farm featuring 3,800 solar panels. Energy produced at the farm will be sufficient enough to power 2,000 apartments, according to the companies behind it, marking the first time that region has produced power in years.
The new solar farm, which produces 1 megawatt of clean energy, is a joint effort between German company Enerparc AG and Ukrainian company Rodina, according to Reuters. The plant cost more than a million dollars to launch, joining other renewable power efforts recently deployed in the nation.
Ukraine is currently home to a subsidy scheme described as “generous,” but that may not be available much longer — officials will vote on getting rid of it next summer. Investors are moving quickly to take advantage of the opportunity while it is still available, that resulting in more than 500 megawatts of renewable power capacity launching in the country just this year alone.
The symbolism of a large, clean solar farm in the exclusion zone is hard to miss. The region was home to nuclear disaster in April 1986 after reactor number 4 pumped radiative material into the environment, the fallout causing deaths and, later on, illnesses.