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Photo of large crowd watching 2005 Solar Decathlon ribbon cutting ceremony.

The U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman cuts the ribbon to officially open the 2005 Solar Decathlon!

Photo of U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman talking with members of the 2005 Solar Decathlon team from Madrid.

Secretary Bodman visits with Universidad Politécnica de Madrid team before touring their Solar Decathlon solar house.

Photo of the 2005 Solar Decathlon team from Puerto Rico walking to the opening ceremonies.

An enthused Universidad de Puerto Rico team makes its way to the Opening Ceremonies.

Solar Decathlon 2005

Daily Journal — October 6, 2005

Today was a great day. We held our Opening Ceremonies and the Solar Decathlon is officially open. Let the competition begin!

The weather was grey and slightly overcast but nothing could dampen the spirits of the teams or the Opening Ceremony. Starting at 10 a.m., Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman opened the ceremony by thanking the decathletes for working so hard over the past week. He went on to say, "No matter who the winner turns out to be, each of you has already accomplished something truly remarkable. Every one of these houses is a marvel of engineering and design, and a model of creativity and innovation. I know this because I came down here on Tuesday to tour the village and speak with some of the students. I must say, I was very impressed."

Secretary Bodman talked of the future by saying "Beginning this year, the Solar Decathlon will now be a biannual event. We invite educational institutions from across the country, and around the world, to enter the 2007 competition. And to make it easier for teams to take on these ambitious projects to develop efficient, affordable and reliable solar-powered homes, I am pleased to announce that our Department will be awarding $100,000 grants—rather than the current $5,000—to each of the successful proposals." These remarks received the loudest applause!

The Secretary cut the ribbon at 11 a.m., officially opening the village, He then toured the New York Institute of Technology, University of Maryland, and the University of Madrid houses before walking down to wish the Cornell team well. Secretary Bodman is a Cornell graduate.

Other speakers at the ceremony were Norman Koonce, Executive Vice President of the American Institute of Architects; Lee Edwards, CEO of BP Solar; Kathy Walker, Chief Network Officer of Network Services, Sprint Nextel; and Dr. Dan Arvizu, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Solar Decathlon is a shining example of our government-industry partnership, and the event would not be successful without our sponsors. Together with the DIY Network and the National Association of Home Builders, we are working to make the event the best it can be.

Tonight the teams will enjoy a reception sponsored by AIA and NAHB at the NAHB headquarters in Washington, D.C. They have been working very hard and deserve some rest and relaxation.

Students will then again work hard to prepare for tomorrow's "Building Industry Day." We have invited building industry professionals such as architects, engineers, builders and other trades to come down to the village for a day filled with workshops, sponsor exhibits, and tours.

Reporting from the village,
Richard King, Department of Energy