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

Jan 11, 2013, 18:04 ET from U.S. Department of Energy

- 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, Calif., Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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, which organizes the competition on behalf of DOE. 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.

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 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 3Sunday, October 6, 2013
Thursday, October 10Sunday, October 13, 2013

Learn more about the 2013 teams at

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.  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

SOURCE U.S. Department of Energy