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.
date made
ca 1977
Carter, Jimmy
Inter Technology/Solar Corporation
place made
United States: Virginia, Warrenton
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
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
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Environmental History
See more items in
Political History: Political History, General History Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
Environmental History
Energy & Power
History Highlights: Solar on the Line
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History