'Sensitivities' Bar DOE From Discussing Progress on WH Solar-Power Plan

June 16, 2011 - 11:06 AM

U.S. Department of Energy.

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy.

(CNSNews.com) -- The Obama administration told CNSNews.com Thursday that it is currently in the process of procuring solar panels to place on the White House roof but it cannot discuss the progress on the project because of "sensitivities."

“The solar installations on the residence will be part of a Department of Energy project to demonstrate American solar energy technology and know-how,” DOE Spokeswoman Jen Stutsman told CNSNews.com in an e-mail. “The project will show that American solar technology is available, reliable, and ready to install in homes throughout the country.”

But DOE is still in the process of obtaining the solar panels and the process is too sensitive to talk about, she said.

“The Department of Energy is currently in the procurement phase of the solar panel project for the White House residence,” Stutsman wrote. “Due to sensitivities of the competitive procurement process, the Department cannot disclose information about the procurement process. We look forward to making additional announcements on this important project as soon as possible.”

Last October, as CNSNews.com reported on Wednesday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that solar panels and a solar water heater would be placed on the roof of the White House “by Spring of 2011.”

But with the beginning of summer set for next Tuesday, environmental groups have been putting pressure on the administration to get it to live up to its promise.

CNSNews.com correspondent Katie Bell contributed to this report.