World's smallest nation to build Europe's largest solar farm
The Vatican announces plans to build Europe's largest solar farm on a plot of land north of Rome.
In Rome, the Vatican
announced plans for a 100-MW solar farm that would enable to world's smallest
country to become an net energy exporter by 2014. The solar farm would allow
the Holy See to exceed the European Union's renewable energy targets of 20% of
demand by 2020. The project's estimated price tag is between $450 and $660
The 740-acre project will produce six times the 108-acre
country's energy demand. The project will be located on the church-owned Santa
Maria di Galeria site just north of the city of Rome. The excess power will be shipped to Italy so the Vatican
can benefit from Italy's
generous solar subsidies. Recently, Italy established a 20-year feed-in
tariff of â¬0.44 to â¬0.49/kWh.
The new solar project will be the second such project
enacted by the Vatican.
In November 2008, the Vatican
activated its first alternative energy system; a $1.6 million solar array designed
to power lighting and HVAC in Nervi Hall where weekly mass is held. The 2,400-panel
is currently working on other renewable energy projects. The Vatican signed a â¬300,000 deal with Kloben Solar
Evolution, Verona, Italy, for a solar thermal system to
heat and cool the staff cafeteria. The church is also conducting a feasibility
study on using waste material to produce methane and gas.
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