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19 August 2016, 16:22

Mobile carrier launches Belarus' largest solar power plant

MINSK, 19 August (BelTA) – The Belarusian mobile carrier velcom has launched the country's largest solar power plant in the town of Bragin, the company's press service told BelTA.

The solar power plant occupies a territory as large as 60 football fields. Its output would be sufficient to power all the street lights in Minsk at night. The power plant has been built not far from Bragin and represents an example of the alternative development of Chernobyl-affected territories.

As much as €24 million has been invested in the project. The solar power plant will beef up the country's energy security by reducing its dependence on hydrocarbon raw materials. Every hour of the solar power plant operation will allow Belarus to save at least 7,000m3 of natural gas.

The solar power plant has been commissioned ahead of schedule. The project was implemented four months ahead of the time specified by the investment agreement in order to catch as many sunny summer days as possible.

Velcom's solar power plant is now the largest one in the country in terms of the size and output capacity. The power plant occupies over 41ha and can produce 18.48MW. The facility relies on 85,000 solar panels that convert solar radiation into direct-current electricity. This electricity is fed to 617 inverters to become alternating current. A number of power transformers increase voltage up to 110kV in order to feed electricity into the national power grid.

Over 730km of cables are used to connect all the equipment inside the solar power plant. Velcom has also built a 4.5km high-voltage power line with 22 electric poles and a transformer to connect the facility with the Bragin electrical substation. Modern materials and equipment made by foreign and Belarusian manufacturers have been used to build the solar power plant and the connecting power line.

The solar power plant is expected to bring life to the territories affected by the Chernobyl disaster and become an example of how polluted lands can be used for a profit and benefit the local economy. Local contractors will be invited to provide maintenance services.

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