Via U.S. Department of Energy

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley recently announced plans for the installation of solar on the roof of the White House residence. The plans are for two solar panels that will provide electricity, and a solar hot water heater that will heat water for use in the residence.

The announcement came on the one-year anniversary of President Obama's Executive Order (EO) 13514 on Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. EO 13514 compels federal agencies to lead by example in clean energy, energy efficiency, and the reduction and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.

Secretary Chu and Chair Sutley revealed the White House plans at George Washington University during CEQ's 2010 GreenGov symposium. Federal, state, and local governments convened with nonprofits, academia, and the private sector at the symposium to identify opportunities to 'green' the federal government.

A competitive procurement process will be used to select a company for the White House installation, expected to be completed in spring 2011.

In a subsequent announcement, DOE released Procuring Solar Energy: A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers.The publication provides guidance for federal facility managers and procurement teams on the process of successfully implementing solar energy on their sites. The guide presents the solar project process in a concise, easy-to understand, step-by-step format. Detailed information and sample documents for specific tasks are referenced with Web links or included in the appendixes.

In addition, the guide features:

  • An overview of sustainability initiatives and solar incentives, as well as legislation and executive orders relating to energy management
  • Recommendations for installation site screening and selection
  • Detailed guidance on financing and contracting options
  • Case studies and best practices from successful solar projects on federal facilities.

Procuring Solar Energy: A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers is a collaborative publication of DOE's Federal Energy Management Program, Solar Energy Technologies Program, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.