President’s residence to embrace solar power

06. October 2010 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends | By:  Becky Stuart

For the first time since U.S. President Jimmy Carter was in office in 1979, solar panels are set to be installed on the roof of the White House.

The White House

The project "reflects President Obama's strong commitment to U.S. leadership". Image: Wikipedia/Lycaon.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley yesterday announced the plans, which would also see a solar hot water heater installed at the Presidential residence.

These two solar installations, they say, will form part of a Department of Energy (DOE) demonstration project “showing that American solar technologies are available, reliable, and ready for installation in homes throughout the country”. DOE will now begin a competitive procurement process to select the company responsible for the installations. 

"This project reflects President Obama's strong commitment to U.S. leadership in solar energy and the jobs it will create here at home," said Secretary Chu.  "Deploying solar energy technologies across the country will help America lead the global economy for years to come."

"President Obama has said the Federal Government has to lead by example in creating opportunity and jobs in clean energy," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "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."

New jobs

The deployment of solar energy and other renewable energy sources will help expand U.S. clean energy manufacturing and create new jobs for American workers, said DOE. It added that in the coming years, continued investments in innovation and cutting-edge solar technologies will help make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional electricity sources all across the country.

The announcement was made on the one-year anniversary of President Obama's Executive Order 13514 on Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, which called on the Federal Government to lead by example towards a clean energy economy and reduce, measure and report direct and indirect greenhouse gas pollution.

In support of this goal, the Department of Energy also released "Procuring Solar Energy: A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers" to support the use of solar energy throughout the Federal Government.  Click here to access the full guide.


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