U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon | Powered by the Sun

Solar Decathlon 2011

Canada: University of Calgary

After placing tenth overall in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, the University of Calgary's entry, TRTL, is now known as the Cenovus Spo'pi Solar House. It was gifted to the university by the project's title sponsor, Cenovus Energy, and serves as a permanent research facility. Students and researchers have access to the house to study renewable energy, school groups regularly tour it, and it was used as a meeting place by Solar Decathlon 2013's Team Alberta.

In the summer of 2012, a groundbreaking and blessing ceremony was held to mark the future permanent site of the house on the south lawn of the Schulich School of Engineering. Reconstruction began that fall and continued for several months. A ceremonial transfer to the University of Calgary took place in March 2013, and the house officially reopened in May.

Today, the Cenovus Spo'pi Solar House serves as a teaching tool for sustainability leaders of the future—school children as well as researchers at the post-secondary level. It is a net-zero, fully furnished house equipped with modern household appliances. The array of 37 photovoltaic panels on the roof generates enough electricity for a typical family of four for an entire year. The Cenovus Spo'pi Solar House offers an exciting glimpse of the possibilities of sustainable housing in the future.

Photo of the Cenovus Spo'pi Solar House on the University of Calgary campus. Enlarge image

TRTL, renamed the Cenovus Spo'pi Solar House, serves as a research facility for renewable energy technologies and a meeting place for a Solar Decathlon 2013 team. (Courtesy of Kim Gould)

Who: University of Calgary
What: TRTL/Cenovus Spo'pi Solar House
Schulich School of Engineering
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta
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Public tours: Not available