Largest Solar Plant in Europe Powers Up

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Ukraine's flagship green project, a solar power station in Crimea, starts its operations and switches on electricity supply to nearby villages. The facility is poised to become Europe's largest solar power plant and is also expected to reduce the country’s high carbon emissions.

Ukraine's new solar power plant in Crimea switched on electricity supplies on Monday at the start of operations. It's poised to become Europe's largest solar station by the end of this year.

[Yevgeny Varyagin, Chief Specialist in Solar Panel Installation, Activ Solar]:
"As for today - the first stage has been put into operation. The second stage will start in the end of August, and the third in September, and the fourth in October this year."

The solar power plant in Okhotnykovo, Crimea, aims to reach an electricity production rate of 100,000 megawatt-hours per year, making it the most powerful solar power plant ever built in the region and one of the largest solar power plants in the world.

A phased increase over the next few months should see the station's reach extend further, as far as the town of Saki on the west Black Sea coast of Crimea.

[Yevgeny Varyagin, Chief Specialist in Solar Panel Installation, Activ Solar]:
"The station covers a plot 160 hectares in size. The station can produce 80 megawatts at full operating power. The electricity station provides around 20,000 houses with electricity."

The station was built by Austrian company Activ Solar as a commercial project and is part of Ukraine's national Natural Energy project.

Ukraine has traditionally relied on its rich coal deposits to meets its energy needs.

However with these stocks in decline and international concern over its high carbon emissions, Kiev has looked to other sources, including gas from Russia, which has come with its own political price. ...