Rumor: Decathlon to National Harbor

Update: Solar Decathlon Shuffled to West Potomac Park

A spokeswoman for student participants is reported to have said Solar Decathlon 2011 will be held at the National Harbor in Maryland, according to John McArdle, reporter for E&E News.  I have not confirmed the accuracy of this information and there has been no official announcement of a location change to date.

Earlier this month, the Department of Energy announced that it was looking for an alternative site in order to “protect, improve, and restore the National Mall.” The announcement seemed to ruffle some feathers.

Several senators signed an official letter asking the secretaries of both the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior to put the event back on the National Mall, according to MNN.

At about the same time, The Washington Post published an editorial supporting the move because — in so many words — the National Mall has become a “national disgrace” as a result of neglect and overuse.

An official announcement on the new location for Solar Decathlon 2011 is coming soon, according to McArdle.

Coincidentally, as pointed out by the Washington City Paper, the National Mall will be used by the Library of Congress for an expanded two-day National Book Festival from September 24-25.  The timing of this event coincides with the original dates reserved for Solar Decathlon 2011.  LOC just issued a press release announcing the expanded event.

Credit: Stefano Paltera/DOE Solar Decathlon 2009.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=715397271 Katy Tomasulo

    Where’s the *dislike* button? I love the SD and very much want it to have a home…but this location will lessen exposure and you have to drive to get there (oh, and they charge for parking). I feel bad for the kids (and the organizers, too) who have put so much into this and now can’t showcase their work on the Nation’s Front Lawn.

  • B17GUY

    Of course National Harbor is a rather crowded area of shops and the like and is not accessable by MetroRail. It is an out of the way dead end location

    • Edz3

      I agree that the harbor is tough to get to and not a mass transit freindly location. It’s ironic that an exhibit of eco freindly & energy savvy design would select a location that is the very opposite of conservation.

      • Anonymous

        In the DOE’s defense, I don’t think it was their fault. It was the National Park Service that forced them out. I’m guessing that if National Harbor does end up being the spot this year it will be because of the crunch of trying to find a new, large enough venue in time that is still in the same climate/solar zone as the original (since the houses are designed specifically for the DC climate). My guess is that they are already looking for a new, permanent spot for 2013 that will be more eco-friendly.

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