US Energy Department Taps Great Park for 2013 Solar Decathlon

This announcement came in and we had to post because it’s great news about The Great Park and great news about the Federal Government’s committment to alternative and renewable energy and hopefully will rub the climate change deniers on the Register’s editorial pages to do some homework about climate change that isn’t based on research paid for by an oil company Think Tank. So I know its 18 months away, Mark Landsbaum, but pencil this event in and come on down and talk to people who live solar power day in and day out.

Here’s the announcement:

IRVINE – The United States Department of Energy today announced that theOrangeCountyGreatPark has been selected as the site for the 2013 Solar Decathlon.  With the award, theGreatPark 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 theGreatParkwill focus worldwide attention on the entire solar renewable energy industry in Orange Countyand 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, go to

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 OrangeCountyGreatPark, 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 GreatParkfeatures 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 CommunityGardenwill be added in 2012. For more information go to

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez hailed the decision by the Department of Energy:

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47) today applauded the Orange County Great Park in Irvine on its selection as the site of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in 2013.

“I am pleased to hear that Orange County Great Park has been chosen to host the Solar Decathlon in 2013,” said Sanchez.  “This is very exciting news for the Great Park and an exciting opportunity to showcase Orange County to participants from all across the globe.  I was happy to push for the Decathlon to be held at the Great Park through a letter of recommendation to the Department of Energy. There is no better place to showcase the newest technologies in clean energy production than our community in Orange County, where many are eager to adopt affordable and energy efficient technologies in their own homes. I look forward to working with the Department of Energy and the Great Park in the months ahead to ensure the 2013 Solar Decathlon is the best one yet!”

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California’s 47th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and parts of Fullerton in Orange County. She serves as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Sanchez is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and sits on the bipartisan, bicameral Joint Economic Committee.



  7 comments for “US Energy Department Taps Great Park for 2013 Solar Decathlon

  1. January 27, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Those Green Nazi Solar Panels:
    The Fire Department has no other choice but to allow a house fire with solar panels on the roof to simply let the fire burn it’s self out.

    Solar panels require rare earth mining and the unavoidable biohazards.
    Solar subsidies steel from the poor and give to the rich, – a reverse Robin Hood.

    Photosynthesis is God’s “Green” machine.
    Plants use solar energy + carbon dioxide to produce carbohydrates and oxygen.
    Solar panels make God angry.
    Solar Cells vs. Plant Cell – In Defense of Chlorophyll

    Solar Energy a Waste! California Should Go Nuclear, Says Former Greenpeace Leader

    Solar is Anti-Green

    • Rampant Corruption
      January 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

      I did not know Larouche was an expert on firefighting. After I read your reply, I had to do a little reading myself.

      Maybe you should check more credible sources – like fire service reports and resources for firefighters. Check these:

      It appears that firefighters need to be aware and cautious when a structure has solar electric panels. However, there is no reliable authority that says the firefighters should just “let it burn”.

      Please expand the scope of your education before you opine.

      • January 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

        65/71, “65” = The Report page, “71” = your Document Toolbar page
        From page 65/71 of your first reference article.
        “6. Summary Observations” “Fireground Tatics”
        “The inability to power-down photovoltaic panels exposed to sunlight makes this an obvious hazard during the daytime, but it is also a potential concern at nighttime for systems equipped with battery storage.”
        (1) Fire fighters are not able to turn of the sun.
        (2) The 600-800 volts in the solar system is a life threatening hazard.

        Fire fighters need to “vent” the roof.
        If the roof is on a single plane, like this “/”, then firefighters have no choice but to let the fire burn it’s self out. For legal reasons Fire Departments can’t say: ‘Well, Mr. and Mrs. Home owner we’re going to watch your house burn to the ground’.

        From your second article:
        “7. In California, we will not let a house burn because it has PV Panels on the roof. I may not be able to put my hole (‘Vent”) in the best place, but I will put one in where I can when required.”

        Translation (for legal reasons):
        ‘I’ll do what I can to save your house.’

        The reality, – “Firefighter Warning” – from the article
        If the main service breaker is shut off then no AC power will be sent to the structure, BUT the panels on the roof will still be generating electrical power.
        Stay away from the panels and the conduit in the daytime.
        Stay away from the junction boxes on the roof.

        Solar panels significantly reduce the probability of the house being saved.
        Green Kills.

  2. Rampant Corruption
    January 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I will ignore your other contentions ragerding solar power because I assume they are based upon similarly specious authority.

    Thanks OC Liberal for letting us know about this big event at the Great Park.

  3. January 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    What a perfect match up. The Federal government with it’s taxpayer funded fraudulent Solar Energy Progam teamed up with the Agranista’s Great Park fraud. Two peas right out of the same pod. Perhaps President Obama can show up at the event, do a photo op with the Agranistas and hawk a few bottles of his “Snake Oil?” Oh excuse me, I see the event is in 2013 and by that time Obama will be back doing community organizing in Chicago. I guess Irvine’s King Larry will have to preside over the event by himself. Unfortunately, he looks to be a safe bet to retain his power after the November election. Too bad the Orange County Republicans can’t get their act together and use the get rid of poor government backlash to their advantage in Irvine. I can almost see future development guidelines under the Agranistas where all new homes built in Irvine will be mandated to have solar energy panels. Not a bad idea by the way, but government should not be involved in any part of the process. Just another day in Paradise.

  4. February 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Green Job Training Sham

    The $500 million in green job training grants reached 10% of job-placement goal, according to a government report. (USA Today 1/31/2012)

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