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Get Ready for Solar Decathlon 2015!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

By Carol Laurie

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 opens to the public on Oct. 8—just over a week away. Whether you’re coming from far away or nearby Southern California, it’s time to plan your visit.

Here’s what you need to know.

Photo of crowds of visitors within the Solar Decathlon village.

It’s time to plan your visit to Solar Decathlon 2015! In addition to tours of the competition houses and village, you can enjoy sponsor exhibits and a variety of activities at the Orange County Great Park. (Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

When and Where To Go
The Solar Decathlon takes place Oct. 8–18, 2015, at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The Solar Decathlon competition houses will be open to visitors from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily on eight days over two weekends:

• Thursday, Oct. 8–Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015
• Thursday, Oct. 15–Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015.

The Solar Decathlon village will be closed Oct. 12–14 for competition activities.

What To Do
Open to the public free of charge, the Solar Decathlon gives you the opportunity to tour solar-powered houses, gather ideas to use in your own home, and learn how energy-saving features can help you save money.

Explore all there is to do during your visit:

  • Take a tour – Learn about the individual competition houses from the students who designed and built them, or gain a high-level perspective on a docent-guided tour of the Solar Decathlon village.
  • Attend a ceremony – Join Solar Decathlon teams, organizers, sponsors, and local and national dignitaries as we celebrate the milestones and successes of Solar Decathlon 2015.
  • Visit our sponsors – The Sustaining Sponsors of Solar Decathlon 2015 will offer entertaining and educational exhibits for visitors.
  • Explore the Orange County Great Park – Enjoy the children’s activities area, a UC Irvine 50th anniversary exhibit in the Great Park Art Gallery, the carousel, visitors center, Farm + Food Lab, Kids Rock playground, and more.
  • Satisfy your cravings – Stay refreshed with food and beverage, which will be available for purchase in the Solar Decathlon village.

How To Get There
There are lots of ways to get to the Orange County Great Park—by public transit, bicycle, or car. The Orange County Great Park charges a $10 parking fee per vehicle, and shuttles will transport you between the parking area and the Solar Decathlon village from 10 a.m. to 7:20 p.m. on public exhibit days.

However you arrive, you’re sure to have lots of fun and be inspired by the decathletes and their amazing houses. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Visit the Solar Decathlon website for more information.

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

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