Solar PV Giant Completed In Ukraine

The giant, 80-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) installation at Okhotnykovo in Ukraine is complete. While it was under construction the plant’s developers had said it would become the largest on the European continent, an assertion we gently questioned. Now, Worldwide News Ukraine has scaled down the claim to the still-very-impressive “largest in Central and Eastern Europe.”

Not only that, but the Okhotnykovo plant is also the fourth largest PV installation in the entire world, the news agency said. And that’s a claim verified by PV Resources, which now lists Okhotnykovo behind only Sarnia in Canada (97 MW); Montalto di Castro in Italy (84.2 MW); and Finsterwalde in Germany (80.2 MW).

solar power, Okhotnykovo, Ukraine

image via Activ Solar

The plant was developed as part of Ukraine’s national Natural Energy project. Launched by the State Agency of Ukraine for Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation in 2010, the Natural Energy project aims to build 2,000 MW of clean energy capacity in Ukraine and produce 30 percent of the country’s energy from renewable resources by 2015.

The Okhotnykovo plant, in southern Ukrainian Crimea, will produce 100,000 megawatt-hours annually, Worldwide News Ukraine said, enough energy to meet the needs of 20,000 households. Covering an area the size of 207 football fields, the plant was built by Activ Solar, an Austrian company.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.