By Carol Anna
With a snip of giant scissors, a ribbon holding back throngs of student decathletes, sponsors, officials, and other well-wishers fell aside, and the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 officially opened.
Opening day began with Solar Decathlon teams gathering for an all-team photo at the east end of the Solar Decathlon village at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. From there, the student decathletes headed to Hangar 244 for the Solar Decathlon 2013 Opening Ceremony.
Steve Churm, vice president, Orange County Register and Freedom Communications, served as emcee. U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz wished the teams success via a videotaped message.
Speakers included representatives from top-level event sponsors Bosch, Cisco, Edison International, Schneider Electric, and Wells Fargo as well as City of Irvine Mayor Steven Choi. Father Jim Reites, a three-time Solar Decathlon faculty advisor for Santa Clara University, gave the last speech before each team was introduced.
So the Solar Decathlon village is open for visitors—for the first time outside of Washington, D.C. And Orange County has turned out to tour the students’ solar-powered houses.
Not only is the village open, but today also marks the first day of the competition. Follow along, check out the team scores over the next eight days, and see who’s crowned the winner Oct. 12!
Carol Anna is the communications manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.