U.S. House of Representatives Approves Solar Project for Federal Building

The House of Representatives approved — by voice vote legislation — the installation of a solar energy system at the U.S. Department of Energy building in Washington, DC yesterday. The bill had been marked up and reported by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure last week.

H.R. 798 directs the General Services Administration to install a photovoltaic (PV) system at the Energy Department’s headquarters that will convert solar energy into electricity. This project, known as Solar Net, consists of a 300 foot long, 130 foot high curtain of solar panels. Representative Jim Oberstar, the committee’s chairman, has long been an advocate for investing in fitting federal buildings with solar energy systems. In 1977, Representative Oberstar testified before the Public Works Committee, which was later renamed the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, in support of alternative sources of energy. “The federal government should play a central role in encouraging innovation in developing new sources of energy. The Solar Net project is a reasonable, practical and simple alternative to traditional electricity sources,” said Representative Oberstar. “It is only fitting that the Energy Department be at the cutting edge of utilizing and supporting applied research in alternative energy sources.”
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