From Business Week:
Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama will have solar panels put back on the roof of the White House to demonstrate that renewable-energy technology is practical for U.S. homeowners, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.
“The White House will lead by example,” Chu said today at a conference in Washington. In addition to photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, a solar hot-water heater will be installed for the White House residence quarters.
President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the White House 31 years ago. They were later taken down by Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan. Solar-energy advocates have pressed Obama to return solar panels to the White House as a symbol of his commitment to renewable energy.
“The White House did the right thing, and for the right reasons: They listened to the Americans who asked for solar on their roof, and they listened to the scientists and engineers who told them this is the path to the future,” Bill McKibben, an environmental activist who led rallies calling for Obama to act, said today in a statement.
Sungevity Inc., a closely held solar company based in Oakland, California, began a “Solar on the White House” campaign earlier this year.
The Energy Department will hold a competitive procurement process to choose the company that will install the solar systems, the department said in a statement. The cost will depend on that process, according to Christine Glunz, a spokeswoman for the Council on Environmental Quality.
Chu also said today that the U.S. is on course to meet Obama’s goal of doubling manufacturing capacity for renewable energy by 2012.