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 €0.44 to €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

system produces 300 kWh of energy per year and was donated by German companies SolarWorld and SMA Solar Technology .

The Vatican

is currently working on other renewable energy projects. The Vatican signed a €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.


Read more about the solar industry here .





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