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Vatican Goes Solar with $1.6 Million Array!
Posted By Daniel Flahiff On December 8, 2008 @ 4:00 pm In Renewable Energy,San Francisco,Solar Power,Sustainable Building | 1 Comment
Papal social policy  is not typically characterized as progressive. Flying in the face of this perception, Vatican City has just installed 2,400 photovoltaic solar panels  on the 5,000 square meter roof of Nervi Hall where popes hold general audiences when the weather is poor. The 1.2 million euro  ($1.6 million) system went live earlier this month just hours before Pope Benedict held what is being called the “first ecological general audience in the Vatican. ”
Since he was elected in 2005, Pope Benedict  has drawn the attention of the faithful to “the unbalanced use of energy” in the world and has remarked that environmental damage is making “the lives of poor people on earth especially unbearable”. The Nervi Hall solar array is a concrete example of this new, greener pope .
Designed and built by architect Pier Luigi Nervi  in 1969, the Paul VI auditorium—a.k.a. Nervi Hall—had a cement panel roof in serious need of replacement. The new solar array, donated by the Germany companies SolarWorld  and SMA Solar Technology , is expected to produce about 300 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy a year, enough to light, heat or cool Nervi Hall. When the hall is not in use, the energy is to be fed into the Vatican’s main power grid .
The initiative is an attempt to make the Vatican “a little bit greener,” according to Andre Koekenhoff , one of the workers on the Nervi project. “With this plant, if it is working, in about two weeks we avoid 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide , and this is the equivalent to 70 tonnes of oil,” he told the Associated Press  news agency. Certainly it is a step in the right direction.
+ SolarWorld 
+ Vatican 
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 Papal social policy: http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL109602320080310?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=22&sp=true
 photovoltaic solar panels: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/07/31/san-franciscos-grace-cathedral-going-to-be-solar-powered/
 1.2 million euro: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7642811.stm
 first ecological general audience in the Vatican.: http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE4AP50M20081127?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews&pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=10339
 SolarWorld: http://www.solarworld.de/
 SMA Solar Technology: http://www.sma.de/en.html
 + Vatican: http://www.vatican.va/
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