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Vatican to go solar

 The Vatican's Paul VI Hall, where many papal audiences and meetings take place, is to get a green makeover, with the installation of a giant rooftop garden of solar panels that will power all the building's heating, cooling and lighting needs. Italian engineer Pier Carlo Cuscianna, head of the Vatican's department of technical services is the mastermind behind the project. The panels will be installed in 2008, as soon as a test run and report has been completed, Cuscianna told L'Osservatore Romano. Any excess power generated by the panels, will be sold to the Rome grid, he explained. Cuscianna told reporters he is looking at several more sites throughout Vatican City where solar panels could be set up in future. The engineer said that appeals by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II to respect nature had inspired him to start the project. Safeguarding the environment was "one of the most important challenges of our century," he said. Source: L'Osservatore Romano