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Photo of Richard King next to a deck and planter boxes. Decathlete Way and the U.S. Capitol are in the background.

Solar Decathlon Director Richard King takes a break from the competition along Decathlete Way.

Solar Decathlon 2009

Daily Journals

The daily journals highlighted the events of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2009. Each day, Richard King, Solar Decathlon director, covered the latest on the teams, their standings, and the events going on in the solar village.

October 19, 2009

I personally believe one of the greatest discoveries in the field of energy from the 20th century is our ability to generate electricity from sunlight using photovoltaic solar cells. Read more.

October 17, 2009

Solar Decathlon 2009 was intriguing and suspenseful to the very end. None of us knew who won until the last minute. Only a few points separated the top teams. Read more

October 16, 2009

For the second time in a row, Team Germany has won the Solar Decathlon. By winning the Net Metering contest and earning 150 points, Team Germany pulled ahead of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the rankings at the last minute. Read more

October 15, 2009

More twists and turns ensued in the standings today. The University of Illinois took the overall lead, with Team California nipping directly at their heels. Read more.

October 14, 2009

Houses are closed to the public today—an important day in the competition because houses are monitored to test performance over a 24-hour period. Read more.

October 13, 2009

Solar Decathlon competitors really start feeling the pressure now. Today marks the sixth day of the competition, and the point spread remains very thin between the two front-runners, Team California and Team Germany. Read more.

October 12, 2009

The teams gathered in the middle of the solar village this morning to hear the announcements of the first two subjective contest awards. Emotions ran high during the suspense-filled ceremony. Read more.

October 11, 2009

A crisp, clear autumn day brought more visitors to the Solar Decathlon today. All types—young and old, students and professionals, families and friends, and loyal alumni—are here. Read more.

October 10, 2009

Warm, pleasant, and memorable. Last night was a beautiful night to sit in the solar village and admire the Capitol lit up in the distance. The activity in the houses provided an extra-special occasion. Read more.

October 9, 2009

Glorious weather provided a brilliant, sunny day for the first day of public tours, and three juries—Architecture, Market Viability, and Communications—began subjective evaluations. Read more.

October 8, 2009

Opening day has arrived, and an astonishing amount of work has been accomplished on the National Mall since last night. A true transformation of the grounds took place, with lots going from construction zones to pristine, welcoming, landscaped houses. Read more.

October 7, 2009

Today is the last day of assembly. Tomorrow, the competition begins! The teams have been working around the clock to build their solar houses on the National Mall. Read more.

October 6, 2009

It's nail-biting time as teams wrap up the construction process. Sixteen teams have passed all of their electrical inspections and are now connected with the grid and operating their houses from PV systems. Read more.

October 5, 2009

Team California's Refract House is the first Solar Decathlon house ever to be connected with a microgrid. Site operations staff Byron Stafford and Mike Coddington flipped the switch as the team looked on. Read more.

October 4, 2009

The work accomplished in the solar village is just incredible. This is clearly the largest construction site Washington D.C. has seen in a long time. Read more.

October 3, 2009

Morning is my favorite time to the stroll the solar village and visit with teams. I caught up with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette crew, which was headed out to grab breakfast provided by Demilec, one of our sponsors. Read more.

October 2, 2009

Earlier today, I was walking across Independence Avenue to give a briefing to our Under Secretary of Energy when I heard police sirens. Several police cars with flashing lights were headed my way, and someone on a loud speaker was telling all the cars to move aside. Read more.

October 1, 2009

As of late this afternoon, all the team houses had arrived—except for one. Road construction forced Minnesota's house to detour from Virginia into Pennsylvania and down into Washington. Read more.

News Flash: The Solar Village Is Under Way!

The solar village assembly and move-in started at 11 p.m. last night with Team Missouri rumbling onto the National Mall first. More than 80 oversized trucks, cranes, and flatbeds waited behind them, ready to unload sections of houses, supplies, and equipment. Read more.

September 30, 2009

Welcome to Solar Decathlon 2009! In these daily journals, my goal is to give you a ground-level view of all the action during this year's competition. Read more.