Solar Decathlon Opening Ceremony and VIP Ribbon Cutting

Sep 21, 2011, 13:31 ET from U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Program Features Government Officials, Students and Foreign Dignitaries

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A ceremony on Thursday featuring U.S. government officials, students, foreign dignitaries and event sponsors will officially open the solar village of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 at the National Mall's West Potomac Park.

Arun Majumdar, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, New Jersey
Richard King, Director of the Solar Decathlon, U.S. Department of Energy
Elisabeth Neigert, Team Leader, Solar Decathlon 2011 Team SCI-Arc/Caltech (The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology)
The Honorable Beatriz Corredor, Secretary of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Spain
Liang Zhi-peng, Deputy Director General, Department of Renewable and New Energy, China
Competition sponsors including: Dow Corning, Lowes, M.C. Dean, Pepco, Schneider Electric

WHAT: Kick-off of global competition that shows consumers how to save money and energy with affordable clean energy products that are available today. The highly efficient houses built by collegiate teams from five countries on four continents will now compete in 10 contests during 10 days that gauge each house's performance, livability and affordability.

VIP Opening Ceremony: Thursday, September 22
9:15 – 9:30 a.m. All-team photo of students in solar village
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Opening ceremony program and VIP ribbon-cutting
11:00 a.m.3:00 p.m. Interview availability and house access

Media Preview Day & Open House: Wednesday, September 21
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Program and guided tour of solar village
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Sneak peek inside houses; personalized tours and interview availability with students and DOE

WHERE:  National Mall's West Potomac Park, Washington, D.C.
Note: There is almost no parking at West Potomac Park. We strongly encourage media to ride the free shuttle from Smithsonian Metro: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 11:00 a.m.4:00 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 22, 7:15 a.m.4:30 p.m.

Solar Decathlon 2011 teams competing on the National Mall's West Potomac Park

  • Appalachian State University
  • Canada (University of Calgary)
  • Florida International University
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland
  • Middlebury College
  • New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • The Ohio State University
  • Parsons NS Stevens (Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology, a team that also includes Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School)
  • Purdue University
  • The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology
  • Team Belgium (Ghent University)
  • Team China (Tongji University)
  • Team Florida (The University of South Florida, Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida)
  • Team Massachusetts (Massachusetts College of Art and Design and University of Massachusetts at Lowell)
  • Team New Jersey (Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey and New Jersey Institute of Technology)
  • Team New York (The City College of New York)
  • The University of Tennessee
  • Tidewater Virginia (Old Dominion University and Hampton University)

Team houses will open to the public free of charge September 23October 2, and the overall winner will be announced on October 1. For full event information, free shuttle details, current standings, high-resolution photos, videos, an event schedule and daily results, visit You may also follow the competition in real time on Facebook at and Twitter at @Solar_Decathlon.

More about the Solar Decathlon
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate students from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. The competition shows consumers how to save money and energy with affordable clean energy products that are available today. The nearly two-year projects culminate in an unprecedented display of affordable green living and design on the National Mall's West Potomac Park from September 23October 2, 2011. The Solar Decathlon also provides participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter our nation's clean energy workforce, supporting the Obama Administration's goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and businesses money.


SOURCE U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon