See it coming? What!? Solar power is coming to White House! The most famous residence in America, which has already boosted its green credentials by planting a garden, plans to install solar panels atop the White House‘s living quarters.
The solar panels are to be installed by spring 2011, and will heat water for the first family and supply some electricity. This is not new. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush both tapped the sun during their days in the White House. Carter in the late 1970s spent $30,000 on a solar water-heating system for West Wing offices. Bush’s solar systems powered a maintenance building and some of the mansion, and heated water for the pool. Obama, who has championed renewable energy, has been under increasing pressure to lead by example by installing solar at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, something White House officials said has been under consideration since he first took office. The decision perhaps has more import now after legislation to reduce global warming pollution died in the Senate, despite the White House’s support. Obama has vowed to try again on a smaller scale. The solar industry has also called on the White House to become a national billboard for solar power. What was unclear was how much the White House solar project would cost, and how much fossil fuel-based electricity it would displace since the installation still has to be designed.