The story has been told in numerous news and feature articles, referenced in books, featured in television stories, and chronicled in a documentary film entitled A Road Not Taken.  It is an environmental story to ponder with Unity College, a sitting U.S. President ( road trip to the White House), and former President sharing connections.

In 1979, former President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels atop the White House to much fanfare. In less than a decade they would be removed and placed in storage.

In 1990, the panels were retrieved from storage and brought to Unity College. With help from actress Glenn Close, the panels were refurbished and used to heat water in the cafeteria until 2005.

Before they were taken down, the panels were featured in an Associated Press article by Glenn Adams.  The rest is history, or an ongoing story of history rediscovered.

Most recently the saga of the panels, Unity College and Carter’s vision for sparking a renewable energy revolution was featured in the Detroit Public Television series exploring energy entitled Beyond the Light Switch.

A clip from the series featuring the former Carter solar panels rescued from obscurity by Unity College is available online at

Friday, September 02, 2011