White House Goes Solar

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced on Tuesday that solar panels and a solar hot water heater will soon be installed at the White House.

Chu, accompanied by Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the Council of Environmental Quality, made the announcement of the conversion at the 2010 GreenGov Symposium in Washington.

In a written statement Chu said, “This project reflects President Obama’s strong commitment to U.S. leadership in solar energy and the jobs it will create here at home. Deploying solar energy technologies across the country will help America lead the global economy for years to come.”

For her part, Sutley said that by installing the solar panels on the White House the president is underscoring a commitment to “lead, and the promise and importance of renewable energy in the United States.”

The solar panel system, to be installed by next spring, will convert sunlight directly to electricity, while the solar hot water heater will have a solar collector facing the sun to heat water for use in the White House residence.

The US Energy Department said a competitive procurement process will be used to select the company that will make the installations.

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