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Yale University Withdraws from Solar Decathlon 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

By Carol Laurie

Today, Solar Decathlon organizers announced that Yale University has withdrawn from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015.

“Unfortunately, Yale has withdrawn from the competition,” said Richard King, Solar Decathlon director. “I am extremely sad to see them go, as they were a tight-knit group of competitors who worked very hard on their project over the past two years. This is a disappointment for everyone.”

Members of the Yale team indicated that fundraising over the summer did not meet expectations,  which impacted their construction schedule. As a result, they were not able to finish building their house in time. Just six weeks remain before teams begin assembling their competition houses at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California.

“Yale is grateful for having had the opportunity to explore sustainable design through such an interdisciplinary format as the Solar Decathlon,” said Edward Wang, a Yale University architecture student who—with other team leaders Kate McMillan, Pablo Ponce de Leon, Thaddeus Lee, and Robert Loweth—worked on the team’s house design, fundraising, and communications. “While  Y-House will not be in Irvine to greet visitors this fall, we recognize that the pursuit of more sustainable living extends beyond the competition and plan to continue with Y-House’s construction effort.”

Wang indicated that an alumni group seeking to establish an artist community in North Carolina might adopt Y-House as the community’s operations base. He said that this would enable Y-House to fulfill its mission of demonstrating sustainable, energy-efficient housing.

“Despite this outcome, working on the Solar Decathlon over last two years has been an incredible experience,” Wang said.

The updated Solar Decathlon 2015 team roster is:

  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • Clemson University
  • Crowder College and Drury University
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • New York City College of Technology
  • State University of New York at Alfred College of Technology and Alfred University
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen
  • University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine; Saddleback College; Chapman University; and Irvine Valley College
  • West Virginia University and University of Roma Tor Vergata
  • Western New England University, Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, and Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana.

The teams will welcome visitors to their houses Oct. 8–11 and Oct. 15–18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The overall competition winner will be announced Saturday, Oct. 17, at 10 a.m.

Carol Laurie is the communications manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

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