Santa Clara University


Solar Decathletes Kick Off Construction

Construction Begins

As two hundred friends of the SCU-CCA Solar Decathlon team gathered to celebrate the kick-off of construction, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter shared their enthusiasm for the U.S. Department of Energy competition.

Mayor Reed said the international contest, which brings together 20 universities to design, build and operate the most energy-efficient, attractive, and comfortable solar-powered house, presents outstanding opportunities for participating students to “get in on the ground floor, doing green things around the world,” and effecting change in a dramatic way. He encouraged the students to be an active part of the green vision and to participate in creating the road map for the future of renewable energy. “We need people with the talent and skills to…change the world,” he said.

Change was on Splinter’s mind, as well, as he noted that in today’s economy “America needs symbols of hope.” The Solar Decathlon, he said, offers hope for the future, for innovation, and for people coming together creating the promise of clean technology. “Infectious optimism drives us forward,” he continued, “Energy and the environment are the two great social issues of our time, and the two great engineering issues.”

Applied Materials is the presenting sponsor of the 2009 SCU-CCA Solar Decathlon team. Splinter expressed his confidence in the students as they take on this challenge. “The world is ready to change,” he said, cautioning them that “this is serious business.” During times like these, he said, people are open to change, open to new ideas. As ambassadors for Silicon Valley and all of California, these solar decathletes are in a position to show how technology can be applied in a meaningful way.

The Solar Decathlon will be held in Washington, D.C., October 9-18. Our team is actively soliciting funding. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Leman Ethem, 408-554-2724.

For more information: and