It was the disaster that shocked the World. On April 26th 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plants’ reactor core suffered a meltdown, which ultimately killed thousands of people while simultaneously spreading radiation across Europe. But now the Chernobyl disaster site has found a new purpose.

The area surrounding the plant won’t be safe for human habitation for at least another 24,000 years. Likewise the land cannot be used to grow crops as it is contaminated for 30km in every direction surrounding the site.

The Chernobyl exclusion zone has been devastated by the worst accident in the history of energy generation. Now however, the dignity of this land is being restored with a new purpose. The first solar plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine is now functioning.

The project began in November 2017, and has been developed by Rodina Energy Group – the Ukrainian engineering society behind several renewable energy projects in eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries, and German partner Enerparc AG, specialists in Solar PV technologies. The plant is made up of 3,762 modules with a total output of one megawatt, and produces enough energy to power 2,000 homes. The plant is located 100 meters from the shielded reactor and cost $1.2 million USD.

Solar Chernobyl is the first project in the zone and is unlikely to be the last. The Ukrainian Government has previously stated their goal of seeing around 1GW of Solar Power installed in the exclusion zone, which has 4GW of transmission capacity already in place associated with the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

This Summer the Chernobyl disaster shocked the World once more, when the miniseries of the same namesake was released. The gripping series premiered in five parts in the United States¬†and the¬†United Kingdom¬†on May 6‚Äď7, 2019 and was acclaimed by critics. At the¬†71st Primetime Emmy Awards, it received six nominations, including¬†Outstanding Limited Series and acting nominations for cast members Jared Harris,¬†Stellan Skarsg√•rd¬†and¬†Emily Watson.

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