College of Design to co-lead University's Solar Decathlon effort

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that the University of Minnesota has been selected as one of 20 teams to compete in the 2009 Solar Decathlon. Students and faculty representing the Institute of Technology and the College of Design will lead the University's effort. The Solar Decathlon is an international student competition to design, build, and operate highly energy-efficient, completely solar-powered houses.

Dean Tom Fisher is quoted in a University news release as saying the Solar Decathlon "provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to showcase their depth of abilities in sustainable design and construction on an international stage."

The total cost of the project is expected to be $1 million. In addition to the Department of Energy $100,000 grant and a $100,000 match from the University's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, the University will seek an additional $800,000 in funding and in-kind gifts from businesses and alumni. If you are interested in making a financial contribution to this project, you can do so online. To designate your gift, enter fund #2558 (Solar Decathlon Fund) in the text box marked "Special instructions for your gift."

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