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Great Park Selected as Site of U.S. Department of Energy 2013 Solar Decathlon

Great Park Selected as Site of U.S. Department of Energy 2013 Solar Decathlon

IRVINE – The United States Department of Energy today announced that the Orange County Great Park has been selected as the site for the 2013 Solar Decathlon.  With the award, the Great Park will work with the Department of Energy to stage the event and showcase energy-efficient housing and clean energy technologies.

The Solar Decathlon challenges international collegiate teams to design and build solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive while promoting the education and economic benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency.  Visitors will be able to tour the renewable energy houses that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances at a specially-constructed Great Park Solar Village in the fall of 2013.

“The Orange County Great Park is proud and honored to be chosen as the host site for the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon,” said Beth Krom, Chair of the Orange County Great Park Corporation Board of Directors.  “This unique event fits perfectly with our vision and focus on innovation, sustainability and community engagement.  We are excited and look forward to working with the Department of Energy, the participating universities and our community partners to put on an extraordinary event.”

The Solar Decathlon is a biennial event that was launched in 2002.  The 2013 Solar Decathlon at the Orange County Great Park will be the first Decathlon held outside of Washington D.C.  The Great Park was selected through a national competition.

“I am extremely proud that after carefully evaluating sites throughout the nation, the Department of Energy selected our Great Park as the location of this important international event,” said Mike Ellzey, Chief Executive Officer, Orange County Great Park Board Corporation.  “Staging the 2013 Solar Decathlon at the Great Park will focus worldwide attention on the entire solar renewable energy industry in Orange County and throughout California.  The event will also greatly stimulate the local economy by bringing in tourism dollars from those attending.”

The Great Park received broad-based community support to stage the 2013 Solar Decathlon from many of the region’s elected officials, educational institutions and clean energy organizations, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Representatives John Campbell and Loretta Sanchez, Scott Samuleson, Director of the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California Irvine, Bill Habermehl, Superintendent, Orange County Department of Education, the Orange County Business Council, the Building Industry Association of Orange County, Clean TechOC and Southern California Edison.

For more information about the Solar Decathlon, go to www.solardecathlon.gov

About the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

About the Great Park

The Orange County Great Park, with its 1,347-acre master plan, is the focal point of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. The Great Park features an iconic tethered helium balloon that rises 400 feet in the air, providing an aerial view of Park development. Other features include the Carousel, Farm + Food Lab, Kids Rock Playground, Walkable Timeline, Palm Court Arts Complex, North Lawn recreation area and historic Hangar 244. The South Lawn lighted soccer fields and Community Garden will be added in 2012. For more information go to www.ocgp.org