Pope Francis orders agrivoltaic plant to provide Vatican with ‘complete energy sustenance’

Pope Francis


From pv magazine Italy

Pope Francis has commissioned an agrivoltaic plant to be located in the extraterritorial area of Santa Maria di Galeria that will ensure the complete energy sustenance of Vatican City.

“For the purposes of maintaining the privileges of extraterritoriality guaranteed pursuant to articles 15 and 16 of the Lateran Treaty — from which the area in question benefits by virtue of the Agreement between the Holy See and Italy for the Vatican Radio facilities in Santa Maria di Galeria and Castel Romano of 8 October 1951 — I establish that the Extraordinary Commissioners can communicate to the Italian Authority — pursuant to article 15, first paragraph, of the Lateran Treaty — the arrangement in that area of ​​structures and headquarters of entities belonging to the Holy See and the Governorate of Vatican City,” the pontiff states in the letter.

Santa Maria di Galeria is the 49th district of ​​Rome located in the Roman countryside.

The smallest country in the world has already installed over 2,000 PV panels on the roof of one of its main buildings. Since its installation in 2008, the Papal State has produced 300 MWh of solar energy per year. The panels are not visible from the ground. The project was planned and managed by BayWa r.e., while the PV modules, inverters and installation were donated by solar technology provider SolarWorld.

“Humanity has the technological means necessary to face this environmental transformation and its pernicious ethical, social, economic and political consequences and, among these, solar energy plays a fundamental role,” Francis wrote in the letter “Brother Sun,” which implicitly refers to the life and works of Saint Francis of Assisi.

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