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SolarWorld AG: Solar Power for the Vatican

Inauguration of the First Solar Power Plant for the Papal State


SolarWorld AG has completed the first solar power plant for the Vatican right next to St. Peter’s Cathedral. As from today some 2,394 solar modules will generate electricity on the roof of the Papal audience hall. Today’s audience of Pope Benedict XVI for more than 10,000 believers will already take place under the roof bedecked with solar modules. 'This solar plant is designed to send out a visible signal for climate-friendly energy supply and the preservation of creation', explains Dipl.-Ing. Frank H. Asbeck, Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG. The solar power plant on the roof of the Paolo VI audience hall has a peak total output of 221.59 Kilowatt (KW), enough to generate some 300,000 Kilowatt hours of electricity. This is equivalent to the annual needs of more than 100 households. The generation of this volume of clean energy is designed to avoid the emission of 225,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide. The aesthetically sophisticated plant was blended into the historical ensemble of Vatican City with a great deal of technical and architectural effort. It is a gift from SolarWorld AG. The solar modules were manufactured at the SolarWorld facility in Freiberg/Saxony. The inverters were donated by SMA Solar Technology and the grid connection was planned by the Italian company Tecno Spot. Since the beginning of his pontificate Pope Benedict XVI has promoted the causes of environmental and resource protection pointing to 'the urgent need to discover alternative energy sources that are safe and accessible to all'. SolarWorld AG wants to support this endeavour with the highly symbolic solar plant in the Vatican. Frank H. Asbeck: 'Our commitment to the international dissemination of solar power technology is dedicated to exactly the same objective'. The original idea to build a solar plant in the Vatican already came about in 2002. The then Pope John Paul II had encouraged Asbeck who had presented him with a solar cell in the course of a general audience to continue in his efforts to promote the worldwide solar energy supply. The concrete contact for the implementation of the project in the Vatican came though the Catholic Community in the Bad Godesberg Rhine Quarter where community commitment and charitable work are promoted in an exemplary fashion. SolarWorld AG is planning to support aid projects in the poorest countries of the world in at least the same order of magnitude as the solar plant in the Vatican. Through the project group Solar2World an aids orphanage, a hospital and several training centers in Africa have already been equipped with solar power systems. These activities will be further enhanced next year. In addition to Frank Asbeck the speakers at today’s inauguration ceremony in the Accademia delle Scienze in the Vatican will include the President of the Governors’ Council of Vatican City, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the Italian Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Carlo Rubbia, as well as the President of Eurosolar, Hermann Scheer, who will award the European Solar Prize to the Vatican and to SolarWorld AG in recognition of this successful project. For current photo material and TV footage please go to the SolarWorld AG website About SolarWorld AG The SolarWorld AG group of companies (ISIN: DE0005108401) is a world leader in high quality solar power technology. The company is involved at all levels of the solar value chain and combines all activities of the solar industry from silicon as the raw material to turn-key solar power systems. SolarWorld AG is represented in all the world’s solar growth markets. The group is exclusively dedicated to its core business of photovoltaic power generation operating production facilities in Germany and the USA. They in turn supply the SolarWorld AG sales offices in Germany, Spain, USA, South Africa and Singapore. In South Korea SolarWorld AG is currently building up a solar module production facility in order to be able to serve the growing demand in Asia on the spot in the future. The central element of the business in addition to the sale of turn-key solar systems and solar modules to the trade is the distribution of solar silicon wafers to the international solar cell industry. Apart from grid-coupled (on-grid) products the SolarWorld Group also sells off-grid solar power solutions that make an important contribution to the sustainable economic development of threshold and developing countries. Under the name Solar2World the group has pooled its ethical commitment to solar power especially in developing countries. SolarWorld AG employs 2,254 people worldwide. At the stock market the company is listed among others in the technology index TecDAX, in the ÖkoDAX, in the Dow Jones STOXX 600, in the international MSCI index as well as in the sustainability indices DAXglobal Alternative Energy and NAI. SolarWorld Press contact SolarWorld AG Martin-Luther-King-Straße 24 53175 Bonn Germany Contact Investor Relations: Tel.-Nr.: 0228/55920-470 Contact Press: Tel.-Nr.: 0228/55920-459 Fax-Nr.: 0228/55920-9470 E-Mail: placement(at) Internet:


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