UPDATE: According to a letter sent to the sponsors of the Solar Decathlon, the event will be taking place this fall in Washington, D.C. in West Potomac Park, on the banks of the Potomac River and along the path between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Awesome!
In case you haven’t heard, Middlebury’s Solar Decathlon team was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to be one of 20 finalists that will build and present their solar-powered house. The Solar Decathlon challenges college students to design, build, and operate solar powered houses that are at the same time cost-effective and energy efficient.
Here’s a video of Middlebury’s Solar Decathlon Team house walkthrough.
Since 2002, these houses have been built and displayed on the National Mall. This location, not only attention-grabbing and central, is also a demonstration of the potential for renewable energy at the heart of policymaking in one of the most symbolic locations in D.C. However, this year that may change. Just a few weeks ago, the National Park Service rejected the Solar Decathlon permit request, forcing organizers to rush to find another location.
Middlebury student Ben Wessel ‘11.5, wrote a post in the environmental blog Grist describing his disappointment about the change and his belief in the value of the National Mall as a symbol for progress in renewable energy.
By placing the latest in clean energy technology right in the heart of the nation’s capital, the Solar Decathlon is an incredibly effective advocacy and public education tool — illustrating the potential for a solar energy revolution and the importance of passing laws that make it easier for folks to “green” their homes… Let’s keep this symbol of our clean energy future at the literal center of our nation’s political system.