A promise to help power the first family's residence with the sun is finally seeing the light of day.
Solar panels have begun to be installed on the White House's roof, the first time solar power will be used for a president's living quarters. The work makes good on a nearly three-year-old promise by the Obama administration to have panels on the White House by the spring of 2011...
A White House official would not disclose the share of the residence's power that solar would provide, citing security concerns. The official would say only that the panels were American-made.
“No one should ever have taken down the panels Jimmy Carter put on the roof. But it's very good to know that once again the country's most powerful address will be drawing some of that power from the sun.”
McKibben initially brought attention to the issue in 2010, when he discovered one of the panels from 1979 at Unity College in Maine, which was being used to heat water for the university cafeteria at the time. In September of that year, McKibben and a number of Unity students returned the panel to the White House, asking for it to be reinstalled. Although the request was denied, it was only one month later that the White House announced the solar panel bid.
The White House official, who asked not to be identified because the installation is in process, wrote in an e-mail the project is “a part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building.”