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White House goes solar after almost 3 decade break

The Obama Administration pledged to install solar panels on the White House back in October 2010, and almost three years later, the process has begun.

“The White House has begun installing American-made solar panels on the first family’s residence as part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building,” said a White House official.

“The retrofit will include the installation of energy-saving equipment, such as updated building controls and variable speed fans, as well as solar generation,” the official said. “The project will help demonstrate that historic buildings can incorporate solar energy and energy-efficiency upgrades.”


U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia

President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels on the White House during the energy crisis in 1979, but the panels were removed in 1986 at the request of President Reagan.

Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, applauded the President’s effort to “lead by example.”

“Today, solar is generating enough electricity to power more than 1.3 million American homes, and we’re extraordinarily proud to be adding the White House to this constantly-growing list,” he said.

“Installing solar panels on the First Family’s official residence, arguably the most famous building in America, underscores the growing popularity of solar energy nationwide,” he added. “Today, more than 30 utility-scale, clean energy solar projects are under construction – utilizing both concentrating solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) technologies – putting thousands of electricians, steelworkers and laborers to work, while also helping to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.”

The Administration has not revealed whose solar panels have been installed on the White House.

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