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Solar Panels Coming to O'Malley's Home

Government House in Annapolis will soon be home not only to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and his family -- but to a pair of solar panels as well.

The state is planning to install the panels next week on a flat part of the roof of the 140-year-old Georgian-style mansion. If all goes as advertised, they will not be visible to Annapolis tourists, but they will heat about half the hot water used in the home.

"There's been a place found for them that doesn't upset the historic nature of the structure but nonetheless achieves the environmental benefit," said O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec.

The solar panels, as well as other upgrades coming to Government House, are part of a far broader project to make state structures more energy efficient.

The inclusion of O'Malley's temporary home, which was reported this morning in The Baltimore Sun, was at the direction of the governor and first lady, state officials said. Since arriving in 2007, the O'Malleys have taken several steps to make the mansion greener, including planting a vegetable garden on its grounds.

In all, state officials say, 37 buildings managed by the Department of General Services are getting lighting and water conservation retrofits, HVAC upgrades and other energy-saving overhauls under a contract awarded in December to Johnson Controls Inc.

Solar panels have previously been installed at governor's mansions in states including New York, Florida, Colorado, Michigan and Ohio, the Sun reported. And in the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter had them installed on the White House.

By John Wagner  |  August 6, 2009; 11:16 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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