Solar Panels at the White House

by lise on March 8, 2008

In 2003, solar photovoltaic panels were installed at the White House.   Two smaller solar thermal systems were also installed to heat water:  one for landscape maintenance personnel, the other for the presidential pool and spa.

The Reagan Administration had ordered a previous set of solar thermal panels removed in the 1980s (the Carter Administration had installed the first set).   

The Park Service, who oversees White House maintenance, decided to install a new set of solar panels on a maintenance building adjacent to the main house because as James Doherty, an architect with the National Park Service told Environmental Building News in 2003, “we are always looking for opportunities to promote renewable energy and sustainable design and we decided to take advantage of this next opportunity to pursue that mission at the White House.”

Although the White House has never revealed (for security reasons) how much energy each system generates, it acknowledges the system is modest and more a symbol of the Park Service’s commitment to renewable energy than an all-out power system.  The Bush Administration itself never really announced the project.  Instead the installation was completed “under the radar;” industry trade journals were the media that picked up the story. 

We, at Cooler Planet, decided to remind people of these national panels because we hope that the next Administration furthers these solar efforts – replete with lots of fanfare.  

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Dion December 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm

I just published an article about blogging for solar energy and came across this article.

I am happy to read that the white house has installed solar panel. Its save the citizens of the US tax dollars when the government look for ways to reduce cost.

Kim Dion


Celia Burns May 25, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I can’t believe that Reagan took down President Carter’s solar panels. He was so forward-thinking. If the country had listened to him during the energy crisis of the 70′s, things would be so much better now. It just shows Reagan for the kind of man he REALLY was – in the back pocket of big business.


solar panel installer March 14, 2011 at 3:58 am

I am extremely optimistic about Solar Panels as well as other types of renewable energy. The way things work in America is that the more people are aware of this technology, the more it will take flight. I am amazed at how much output I am getting from my solar panels and I encourageall readers of this comment to inquire about going green and making our energy independence a reality.


Ed Holz November 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I find the talk about Solar Panels at the White House all a bit meaningless. Political leaders and central banks round the planet have done everything they can to preserve failed lending institutions, and loans that was imprudent from the onset. We will not have a real self sustaining recovery without an end to deficit spending and lots of financial institutions going bust. I find discussion about mortgage finance and home loans a bit meaningless. I also think the house costs have to fall a lot even now. I mean why would you want to own a home in Spain or the UK? Isn’t it much cheaper to rent? Regards, Ed Holz


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