Ukraine to build 1GW wind farm in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

By Mike Hayes13 September 2023

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The government of Ukraine has agreed to build a wind farm in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), with German energy company Notus Energy.

A memorandum of cooperation has been signed by both parties for the construction of a wind farm capable of generating up to 1GW of power – enough to cover the electricity needs of around 800,000 households.

The CEZ – located some 130km north of Kyiv – has remained largely abandoned since the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in 1986.

Details of the size of the facility have not been shared, but the CEZ covers an area with a radius of approximately 30km.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources said the development will contribute to the country’s energy independence, as well as generating new jobs in the area.

Regeneration of a historic site

The abandoned Ukrainian city of Pripyat, within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone The abandoned Ukrainian city of Pripyat, within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Photo: Adobe Stock

Oleksandr Krasnolutskyi, Ukraine’s deputy ecology minister, said, “Even before the full-scale invasion, we had strategic plans to transform the Chernobyl zone into a recovery zone. The war hasn’t changed them, but temporarily suspended.

“The partnership with Notus Energy is a positive example for international investors that the exclusion zone is an attractive and promising area for the development of renewable energy and other environmentally friendly technical solutions.”

Hannes Helm, the head of project development in Ukraine for the Notus Energy Group, said, “A wind farm of this size would make a substantial contribution to the expansion of renewable energies in Ukraine and strengthen the independence and decentralisation of Ukraine’s energy supply.

“We want to make a contribution to the reconstruction and transformation of Ukraine’s energy supply.”

And highlighting the significance of the new development, the ministry said, “In the midst of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the area affected by the nuclear accident almost forty years ago may thus become a symbol of clean, climate-friendly energy, providing Kyiv with green electricity.”

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