By Carol Laurie
To the cheers of hundreds of student decathletes, Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz brandished a pair of giant scissors and cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 village. The competition and public exhibit have begun!
Opening day began with a photo of Solar Decathlon 2015 student team members, followed by the opening ceremony, which took place in historic Hangar 244 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. Moniz’s keynote speech provided inspiration to the teams.
Speakers included Solar Decathlon Director Richard King, representatives from top-level sponsors Edison International, Schneider Electric, and Wells Fargo; and the City of Irvine City Council. The fun began when Moniz and King introduced the teams, whose excitement spread throughout the room.
“These teams have been working hard for two years and they’re ecstatic to finally reach this moment,” says King. “To top it off, the Secretary of Energy told the students how important their work is designing, building, and operating these solar houses and how they’re going to be the next generation of energy leaders.”
With the Solar Decathlon village now open to visitors, Moniz toured houses of several teams: California State University, Sacramento; Missouri University of Science and Technology; Stevens Institute of Technology; and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
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 wins on October 18!
Carol Laurie is the communications manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.