Solar panels installed on White House roofBy JOSH LEDERMAN
The Associated Press | May 11,2014AP photo
Technicians have finished installing solar panels at the White House.WASHINGTON — An array of solar panels blanketing the roof of the White House is getting its day in the sun.
Technicians have finished installing the panels at the nation’s most famous address, capping a project that President Barack Obama hopes will send a clear signal that renewable energy is both feasible and environmentally shrewd.
Citing security and other concerns, the White House won’t say how many panels now encase the top of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or how much they cost. But the panels are expected to generate 6.3 kilowatts of solar power whenever the sun shines, the White House said, improving the building’s energy efficiency.
Obama seeks to use his personal example to spur American families and businesses to do more to reduce reliance on foreign energy and cut emissions blamed for global warming.
“Solar panels at the White House are a really important message that solar is here, we are doing it, we can do a lot more,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a video released by the White House.
Facing pressure from environmental groups, Obama announced in 2010 he would retrofit his family’s new home with solar panels starting in 2011, then use the power generated to heat water for the first family and provide some electricity. But the project remained dark until late 2013, when the installation finally started.
The project required technicians to first drill down to the concrete on the White House roof, then use epoxy glue and threaded rods to install a gridded subassembly onto which the solar panels could be secured. The solar components, converters and the labor to install the panels were all domestic, the White House said, declining to name any of the companies involved in the project.
“Being at the White House, we do have some security concerns. We can’t cover the entire roof, although that would be good from an energy savings standpoint,” said James Doherty, the White House usher.
For some climate change activists, the years of delay underscored a lack of urgency. Bill McKibben of the environmental group 350.org said the project was symbolically significant, but also depressingly protracted.
“At this pace, we’ll solve global warming right about the time that we’re 30 feet under water,” McKibben said in an interview.
Obama isn’t the first president to deploy solar at the White House. Jimmy Carter spent $30,000 on a solar water-heating system for West Wing offices in the late 1970s, but his successor, Ronald Reagan, tossed the panels after he moved in. George W. Bush’s solar systems powered a maintenance building and some of the mansion, plus provided heated water for the pool.MORE IN Wire NewsSALT LAKE CITY — The renewed national scrutiny of the Confederate flag has officials again... Full StoryJOHANNESBURG — It is, for some well-heeled foreign visitors, the ultimate African experience: the... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.