First solar panel installed on Vatican roof

Vatican City (AP) - The first solar panels have been installed on top of the papal audience hall at Vatican City. Workers Monday began putting photovoltaic cells on the roof of Paul VI hall to convert sunlight into electricity.

Vatican engineers announced the plan for the first solar panels last year.

Pope Benedict has made conserving the Earth's resources an important concern of his papacy.

Pilgrims attend weekly audiences in the hall during winter as well as in other seasons when the weather is too bad to gather in St. Peter's Square.

Rome gets lots of sunshine, and engineers say the cells will produce enough electricity to illuminate, heat and cool the hall.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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