Solar Takes Over Washington D.C.: Solar Decathlon 2009 Begins

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Solar Decathlon 2009: The Construction Site

The solar capacity of the National Mall in Washington D.C. has increased exponentially in just a week as teams of college students from 20 international schools hurriedly reassembled their submissions for the fourth ever Solar Decathlon, a competition in which students must create “the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house.” The three-week event kicked of yesterday with an opening ceremony that featured a speech from Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who announced an additional $87 million solar-targeted award for solar energy projects. Here’s a look at some of the impressive solar submissions and the opening day events.

“Decathletes,” as the decathlon participants are called, began construction on October 1, 2009, a full week before the start of the competition. Each house was designed to be deconstructed and then reassembled for the event. The components of each house travel from each team’s school and are reconstituted as the solar-powered homes lining “Decathlete Way” on the National Mall.

Image Credit: Stefano Paltera from USDOE on Flickr under a Creative Commons license

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