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The Solar Decathlon begins today!

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009

After two years of planning, designing, engineering, and building, our SCU+CCA Team California is ready to welcome the world through the doors of Refract House on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.! Student Project Manager Allison Kopf (SCU ’11) has the honor of joining Energy Secretary Steven Chu to address the crowd at the Opening Ceremonies. And, as if that were not enough, SCU and CCA students were thrilled to learn that CBS will be interviewing Secretary Chu for its news program 60 Minutes (which boasts more than 9 million viewers!) in OUR SOLAR HOUSE this morning! We will post the air date and more information soon. Our student team is making us proud—working around the clock on getting the house ready for competition and visitors, talking with media, and preparing for the blitz that is the Solar Decathlon. Watch Allison's speech on YouTube.

Sure to be a topic of buzz on the National Mall, one of the innovations being introduced in our 2009 entry is a carbon meter. Thanks to a grant from the California Energy Commission, Santa Clara University has been working with SolarTech (a PV industry consortium) to develop this concept. Over the past year, it has been developed and tested on SCU's campus on our 2007 Solar Decathlon entry, Ripple House. With great results being achieved, students were excited to install the meter on Refract House to measure carbon offsets at real-time rates. In the future, it is expected this type of monitoring will allow homeowners to be compensated for saving energy while contributing to the health of the planet, enabling a potential economy of carbon cap and trade.

Watch this fun video from The Washington Post showing our SCU and California flags waving, and our student, Preet Anand (SCU ’10) getting the last word! More on our team in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. A great photo of our team with Secretary Chu here: cnet news and an interview with NPR.

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