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Hart Senate Office Building Solar Panels May Come With Roof Replacement

10/23/2012 10:09 am ET | Updated Oct 23, 2012
AP

By Emma Dumain
Roll Call Staff

The Architect of the Capitol is replacing the roof on the Hart Senate Office Building, and as part of an effort to become more energy efficient, the AOC might look at installing solar panels.

Last year, the AOC diverted Congress’ trash from landfills to a waste-to-energy facility; it is awaiting approval to use “cogeneration” to create heat and electricity simultaneously at the Capitol Power Plant.

In that vein, the agency is “exploring options,” according to spokeswoman Eva Malecki, regarding “installing more energy efficient and sustainable components as part of a planned roof replacement.”

The AOC has requested $11.3 million to replace the roof and fall protection systems of the building. The project would be overseen by an outside contractor. Some media reports suggested a contract would be awarded based on whether a company could incorporate solar panels or other sustainability components. Malecki, however, emphasized that with legislative branch offices fighting for scarce resources, the AOC would prioritize roof construction, with solar panels “purely conceptual at this time.”

Besides, even the timeline for just putting up a new roof has been stalled. The Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved a fiscal 2013 legislative branch appropriations bill allocating the $11.3 million request. But before it could move through the legislative pipeline, both chambers opted to abandon regular order and freeze current funding levels until March through a continuing resolution.

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