White House Will Install Solar Panels After All, Huzzah! (UPDATED)


photo: John/Creative Commons

OK, so it doesn't look like they will be the new ones that 350.org and Sungevity wanted to be installed, but nevertheless some cheering is still in order: The White House has announced that solar panels will be installed on the White House living quarters by spring 2011. Both solar photovoltaic panels supplying electricity and a solar water heater will be installed.The Department of Energy states,

These two solar installations will be part of a Department of Energy demonstration project showing that American solar technologies are available, reliable, and ready for installation in homes throughout the country.

A competitive procurement process is set to begin to determine who will supply and install the solar panels.

White House Council on Environmental Quality chair Nancy Sutley noted, "President Obama has said the Federal Government has to lead by example in creating opportunity and jobs in clean energy. By installing solar panels on arguably the most famous house in the country, his residence, the President is underscoring that commitment to lead and the promise and importance of renewable energy in the United States."

Both Carter & Bush 2 Installed Solar Panels
In case you don't know the 30-year saga of the White House and solar power: Jimmy Carter installed solar water heating panels for the West Wing of the White House in 1979.

At the time Carter said, "A generation from now this solar heat can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people."

The adventure was cut short when the panels were removed during the Reagan administration. During George Bush the Second's term in office solar photovoltaic panels were installed on a maintenance building and used to heat water for a swimming pool.

TH note: A previous version of this post was published prior to the official announcement made by the Dept of Energy. The post has been updated to reflect the confirmed information on the White House's solar power plans.

More on Solar Power at the White House:
Will President Obama Put Free Solar Panels on the White House Roof
Whatever Happened to Jimmy Carter's Solar Panels?
Take Action: Tell President Obama 'Put Solar On It'!

Tags: Barack Obama | Renewable Energy | Solar Power