White House Solar Panel

During his term in office, President Jimmy Carter fought for clean energy using renewable sources. As a symbol of his faith in “the power of the sun,” Carter had 32 solar panels installed on the White House West Wing roof in the summer of 1979. These panels were used to heat water in the household for seven years until President Ronald Reagan had them removed in 1986. The panels were stored in a government warehouse until 1991, when they were acquired by Unity College in Maine. The college installed some of the panels to heat their cafeteria water.
This solar panel is one of the original Carter White House panels and was donated to the National Museum of American History by Unity College in 2009.
Currently not on view
Object Name
solar panel
date made
ca 1977
Carter, Jimmy
Inter Technology/Solar Corporation
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 5 in x 37 in x 78 in; 12.7 cm x 93.98 cm x 198.12 cm
place made
United States: Virginia, Warrenton
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Environmental History
Government, Politics, and Reform
Energy & Power
Environmental History
See more items in
Political History: Political History, General History Collection
Environmental History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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