President Obama just announced that the White House is finally undergoing an energy-efficient retrofit, beginning with the installation of a solar array on the iconic building’s roof. The greening of the White House was first announced by Obama three years ago, and the solar panels will provide clean energy to help power the nation’s most famous address for the first time since the Carter administration. Although the solar panel manufacturer has not been not disclosed, the photovoltaics are American made, and they will provide enough clean electricity to meet the energy needs of the first family.
Back in 2010, President Obama told the press that he’d be installing solar panels onto the White House as a symbol of his plan to increase renewable energy usage in the nation. Almost three years later, the first of the panels are being installed, with a further retrofit plan to improve the White House’s energy efficiency even more.
The White House did have a solar power system installed once before, from 1979 to 1986. First installed by President Jimmy Carter, the system was removed by President Ronald Reagan during roof repairs, and of course never re-installed. Almost twenty years later, President George W. Bush reintroduced the solar array to the White House, installing a small system on the roof of the grounds’ maintenance shed, which provides minimal power for the grounds equipment.
The long awaited solar array will be made up of 20 to 50 panels, which are reportedly being installed this week. The system is projected to pay for itself with energy savings in eight years.