IRVINE, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Students representing the 20 collegiate teams competing in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 arrived at the Orange County Great Park today to prepare for the award-winning competition, which will take place October 3-13 at the Great Park. The arrival of the students marks a significant milestone in the planning efforts for the event which will attract worldwide attention to Irvine and Orange County.
“The Solar Decathlon is the Great Park’s first-ever international event,” said Jeffrey Lalloway, Chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation. “We are excited to welcome the students representing the 20 competing teams and their creative energy, innovation and talent as they prepare to build solar houses that will allow the public to see the future of energy, today.”
The Solar Decathlon challenges teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. Open to the public and free of charge, the Solar Decathlon enables visitors to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today.
“This is the first time the Solar Decathlon will be held outside of Washington, D.C.,” said Richard King, Director of Solar Decathlon for the U.S. Department of Energy. “We are so excited to be in California! The Solar Decathlon 2013 teams are some of the most impressive we have seen to date. We look forward to introducing the students to the Great Park this weekend and to watching their innovations come to life in Irvine this fall.”
While at the Great Park, the students will be participating in a weekend full of workshops and briefings about the competition with officials from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Students will also meet their competition for the first time.
XPO – A Unique Energy Showcase for Orange County
Orange County’s reputation as a center for high-tech, bio-tech, clean-tech and green-tech makes it the perfect home for the Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO – a world’s fair of clean, renewable and efficient energy which is planned for the same timeframe in October at the Great Park. The Solar Decathlon 2013 will be the centerpiece of the XPO.
“Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO at the Great Park serves as a catalyst for education for the Orange County community,” said Al Mijares, Ph.D., Orange County Superintendent of Schools. “The Solar Decathlon will serve as a learning laboratory for students from our local school districts, providing them the inspiration to become the next generation of clean energy engineers, architects, builders and creative thinkers.”
About Solar Decathlon 2013
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate energy-efficient houses powered by the sun. These teams spend almost two years creating houses to compete in 10 contests. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition has since occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. The next event will take place from October 3 through October 13, 2013, at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The competition houses will be open to visitors free of charge on eight days over two weekends.
Public hours will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily:
Thursday, October 3 – Sunday, October 6, 2013
Thursday, October 10 – Sunday, October 13, 2013
Learn more at www.solardecathlon.gov.
About the XPO
The Solar Decathlon 2013 will be the centerpiece of the XPO, a world’s fair of clean, renewable and efficient energy. The XPO will bring together innovators and visionaries with the public to inspire great thinking, and more importantly, real action in support of a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future. At the XPO, visitors will experience the past, present and future of energy in every facet of their lives, including home design, transportation, consumer products, food production, entertainment, education and the arts. Visit www.the-xpo.org for more information.
About the Orange County Great Park
Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Southern California enjoy the Orange County Great Park’s array of recreational and educational opportunities and participate in shared experiences, including panoramic views from the iconic Great Park Balloon that rises 400 feet in the air. Other Great Park features include the Carousel, Farm + Food Lab, Kids Rock Playground, Walkable Historical Timeline, Palm Court Arts Complex, North Lawn recreation area and historic Hangar 244. In addition to free sports clinics, gardening workshops, weekly Farmers Market and other community events, the Great Park hosts an annual series of special events that provide unique experiences for the entire family, including the Growing the Park: Anniversary Celebration, Great Park Pumpkin Harvest, Great Night! Family New Year’s Eve, and the Flights & Sounds Summer Festival. With its approximate 1,300-acre master plan, the Great Park is the centerpiece of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. For more information, please visit www.ocgp.org.