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Orange County Great Park Welcomes U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 Collegiate Teams

•Representatives from 20 collegiate teams visit the Great Park competition site for the first time
•Students from around the country and world gather on-site to prepare for award-winning competition
•Renderings of student-designed solar houses released
•Great Park to host Solar Decathlon 2013, October 3-13

IRVINE – 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.”

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