Honestly, we didn’t even know there ever were any solar panels on the White House until we came across an article recently on the Web.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar hot water panels on the roof of the White House.
“This dependence on foreign sources of oil is of great concern to all of us,” Carter said on the day of the panel’s dedication. “In the year 2000, this solar water heater behind me, which is being dedicated today, will still be here supplying cheap, efficient energy. A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people."
Once Ronald Reagan entered the White House in 1981, the panels were removed and placed in storage. Somehow, Unity College, Unity, Maine, which bills itself as “America’s Environmental College,” got a hold of 16 of the panels in 1992 and used them to provide the cafeteria with hot water.
Finally, Google brought one of the panels down to its Washington, D.C., office for display.