The White House Installs Solar Panels

We’re shifting the power at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave – shifting to solar power, that is.

Four years after President Obama pledged to go solar, the White House announced last Friday that the President’s new rooftop solar system is finally up. The 6.3 kilowatt system is a similar size to what the average American household would install. What environmental benefits will the First Family generate from going solar?

Over 20 years, their 6.3 kW system will offset the equivalent of:*

  • 250,000 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 3,000 trees planted
  • 280,000 car miles

And, they get to be cool like Bo.

The much-anticipated installation proves that anyone can go solar, whether you’re the President or the President’s dog. “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.

This announcement is a culmination of the Globama campaign, in which we partnered with 350.org and others to collect 50,000+ signatures urging the President to go solar. President Obama isn’t the first Head of State to power his residence with sunshine: President Nasheed from the Maldives installed a PV system on his official residence in 2010. Sungevity donated and installed the system, then helped launch the non-profit Solar Head of State to encourage more world leaders to join the movement.

Two countries down, 194 more to go. Shine on!

*Offset calculations are based on EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator estimates and NREL’s PVWatts Calculator

Posted by Leslye Penticoff

Leslye is the Content and Community Manager for Sungevity. She's also an avid coffee drinker and rock climber, and serves on the Board of Directors at Margination, a nonprofit in Troy, NY.