The size of a football ground: the first solar power system in the Vatican is equipped with SMA solar inverters. (Image: SolarWorld AG)

The Vatican inaugurates its first solar power system

Today, the Vatican inaugurates its first solar power system, on the roof of the Pope's audience hall. The solar power plant, with a total power output of about 220 kilowatts, is equipped with inverters produced by the SMA Solar Technology AG.

With the installation of this system, the Vatican wishes to contribute to an environmentally-friendly form of energy production and to participate in this way in climate protection and the conscientious management of resources. By generating electricity from the sun, the Vatican will avoid emitting around 225 tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, per year. The solar system is a gift from the SolarWorld AG and the SMA Solar Technology AG: SolarWorld delivered the PV modules, and SMA donated the solar inverters. These provide for the efficient conversion of the direct current generated by the solar modules into the alternating current commonly used in the grid.

As part of a solemn ceremony, the system will be inaugurated today at the Accademia delle Scienze in the Vatican. Taking part in this ceremony are, in addition to Frank Asbeck, Managing Director of the SolarWorld AG, Pierre-Pascal Urbon, member of the Managing Board of SMA, and Valerio Natalizia, Managing Director of SMA Italia, among others the President of the Governorate of the Vatican, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, as well as Prof. Carlo Rubbia, a Nobel Prize recipient. Following the ceremony, Hermann Scheer, President of EUROSOLAR, will award the European Solar Prize to the Vatican and the SolarWorld AG in appreciation of this project.

"With the use of a solar power system, the Vatican supports the worldwide promotion of solar energy and sets a mark for a future-oriented energy supply with renewable forms of energy", said Günther Cramer, Speaker of the SMA Solar Technology AG Management Board. "We are very pleased that SMA inverter technology has been used in this as of yet unique project."

The system, which was installed on the football-field-sized roof of the Paolo VI Papal audience hall, has a total power output of about 220 kilowatts. 2,394 solar modules will generate up to 300 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, roughly corresponding to the yearly need of 100 households.

Overview of the SMA technology used
19 x Sunny Mini Central 11000TL
1x Sunny Mini Central 7000TL
2 x Sunny Boy 5000TL HC
1 x Sunny Boy Control Plus
1 x Sunny Sensor Box

About SMA Solar Technology AG
SMA generated sales of EUR 327 million in 2007 and is thus worldwide market leader for photovoltaic inverters, a key component of all photovoltaic solar power plants. The SMA Group is based in Niestetal, near Kassel, and is represented by foreign subsidiaries in eight different countries on four continents. The Group employs a staff of over 2,600 (incl. temporary staff). SMA produces a broad range of inverters, offering the right inverter for every type of photovoltaic module in use and for all sizes of photovoltaic plant. The product range covers both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid and inverters for off-grid systems. The company has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange Prime Standard (S92) since June 27, 2008; since September 22, 2008 the company’s shares have listed on the TecDAX. In the past, SMA received a number of awards for its excellence as an employer.

Vatican City/Niestetal


Press contact:

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Volker Wasgindt
Head of Media and Association Relations
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Tel.: +49 561 9522-11 21
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