Film Shown in Irvine Tonight Chronicles 2013 Solar Decathlon in City to Preview 2015 Return

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Power Houses, a feature-length documentary about collegiate students competing in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO last October at the Great Park in Irvine, premieres at 7:30 this evening in the Irvine City Hall council chambers. The City of Irvine hosts the free screening of the ICTV-produced documentary, and the Energy Department's Solar Decathlon Director Richard King is scheduled to preview the 2015 event that's also set for the Great Park.

Irvine was the first host city outside of Washington, D.C., to host the biannual event, and UC Irvine recently announced students from there, Chapman University, Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College will join together as "Team Orange" at the 2015 international student competition to design and build the best solar-powered home.

"We and our partners will show California and the nation that our campuses and Orange County lead the way on innovative, affordable solar power and other clean energy advances," vowed Gregory Washington, the dean of UCI's Samueli School of Engineering, who will lead the effort. "The home team can definitely win."

The local team has proposed a home modeled on the sun-loving, drought resistant California poppy, according to the university.

"It's a dream come true, really, to be picked," reacted Alex McDonald, a UCI mechanical engineering and urban planning student, who spent long hours on the proposal.

Entrants will design, construct and test their houses before reassembling them at the competition site in Irvine. Student teams compete in 10 different contests ranging from architecture and engineering to home appliance performance. They also provide free tours of the homes.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, who last month visited UCI to announce the 20 teams selected to compete in Solar Decathlon 2015, explained, "The Solar Decathlon provides the next generation of America's architects, engineers and entrepreneurs with the real-world experience and training they need to strengthen U.S. innovation and support new, clean sources of energy."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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