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The Fourth Gift of the Three Kings: "A Solar Cell"

Corporate News SolarWorld AG
(Securities Code No.: WKN 510 840)
(International Securities Identification Number: ISIN DE0005108401)

SolarWorld AG gives Pope Benedict XVI a solar system as a gift for Epiphany Solar power annually avoids 315 tons of CO2

SolarWorld AG is making a gift in the form of a solar power system to Pope Benedict XVI. This was announced by Frank Asbeck, Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG, in Bonn. "If the Three Wise Men from the East came to Bethlehem today they would in all probability bring a solar cell in addition to gold, frankincense and myrrh. It is the symbol for the preservation of creation and for the energy supply of the future." That is how Frank Asbeck explains this gift on the occasion of the forthcoming Epiphany Day. In Southern countries this day is marked by the giving of gifts to commemorate the Three Holy Kings.

"With our gift we are paying tribute to the German pope. We support the commitment of the Catholic Church to a responsible use of the resources of creation," says Asbeck in his explanation. Last summer SolarWorld AG had gathered from the media that the Vatican was planning to install a solar power plant on the roof of the papal audience hall. The SolarWorld CEO got in touch with the Governor of the Vatican to offer the solar system as a gift. "For us this was also an obvious thing to do because Pope Benedict had lived in our Bad Godesberg Rhine Quarter during his time in Bonn. We therefore feel very closely attached to him," Asbeck goes on to explain. The gift was formally accepted by the Vatican on behalf of the Pope just recently.

SolarWorld was able to convince the Vatican with its overall concept for the solar power plant. It takes into consideration not only the energy technology aspects but also the highly sophisticated integration of the photovoltaic system into the papal audience building.

The roughly 2,000 SolarWorld modules will already be installed on the roof of the Aula Paolo VI audience hall in the summer. They will provide the very first solar power ever generated in the Vatican to the tune of some 315,500 kWh annually. This will help avoid about 315 tons of CO2. The SolarWorld engineers will replace the existing pre-cast concrete ribs on the south side of the domed roof by special modules from the company's own production. The solar modules will adapt in an optimum way to the fan shape widening from north to south of the architecturally very challenging building. It is especially the wave structure and the associated aesthetic appeal of the roof in the shade of St. Peter’s in Rome that will be retained in this way.

The inverters for the plant will be made available by the German manufacturer SMA. In the implementation of the project in the Vatican SolarWorld AG will be supported by its Italian distribution partner of many years’ standing - Tecnospot Srl.

The start of the construction work to begin soon, the progress of the work and the hand-over of the completed building in 2008 will be documented on film on the spot. Some first photographs as well as a simulation are available on our Internet page under

SolarWorld Real Value

SolarWorld manufactures and sells solar power solutions and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. As the largest solar producer in the United States and Europe, SolarWorld employs about 3,200 people and carries out production in Hillsboro, Ore., and Freiberg and Arnstadt, Germany. From the raw material silicon to solar wafers, cells and panels, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe and is committed to resource- and energy-efficient production. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. For more information, visit

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