The White House plans to install solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof. The project is expected to be completed by the spring.
In a blog post, Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, said that the Obama Administration wants to lead by example on clean tech.
In a statement, the Department of Energy laid out the following:
The solar power system will convert sunlight directly to electricity. The solar hot water heater will have a solar collector facing the sun that will heat water for use in the White House Residence. The Department of Energy will now begin a competitive procurement process to select the company responsible for the installations.
The two solar installations will be part of a Department of Energy demonstration program. The general idea is that the White House's move to go solar will entice other Americans to ponder similar projects.
"The project will show that American solar technology is available, reliable, and ready to install in homes throughout the country," said Chu.
According to the Associated Press, the White House has an interesting solar history.
In the late 1970s, former President Jimmy Carter spent $30,000 on a solar water-heating system. Former President George W. Bush used solar to power a maintenance building, parts of the White House and the pool.
When Carter dedicated his 32 solar panels in 1979, he said that his system would be providing cheap, efficient energy through the year 2000. Oops. President Reagan ditched the solar panels in 1986, according to Scientific American, which tracked the fate of the Carter solar panels.
Hopefully, these new solar panels will stick around this time. The larger question is whether consumers will follow the White House's lead with the help of incentives.
Photo: U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu and vice president Joe Biden at the West Wing of the White House. (U.S Department of Energy)
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com