Goodbye New Zealand, hello Washington, D.C.

Goodbye New Zealand, hello Washington, D.C.

It’s been a lengthy and thorough process for the First Light team, and as they explain in their latest blog, it’s time for all their efforts to pay off with the first representatives from the team hitting Washington, D.C. for the prestigious US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. They’ve also secured an impressive new sponsor and have unveiled new videos to give you an insight into the workings of the house.

It’s been a long and tough process but the competition is almost here! On Saturday the first group from the team — made up of student team leaders, the project manager and our committed sparky Hayley from Harding Electrical — set for Washington, D.C. This group will be in charge of the pre-assembly phase over the next couple of weeks. 

After two weeks of unpacking containers and finishing details the rest of the team will arrive on September 10 with a few days to acclimatise before the start of the competition on the 13th. The entire team will be staying together in a large house in McLean, Virginia — about a 20 minute drive to the National Mall’s West Potomac Park where the competition takes place. The house belongs to Joe Manelski, a retired US Navy commissary officer who very kindly offered to house the entire team for the duration of the competition.

As the project is entering into its final phase, we thought it was important to recognise the tremendous contribution of so many companies that have made the project possible. A plaque listing all of the project sponsors was unveiled in an event at Victoria’s School of Architecture and Design recently. Each sponsors name was etched into the Perspex plaque and a single LED light illuminates the companies as if lit by the sun.

The event showed the high level of support with chief executive of Meridian Tim Lusk telling the audience just how much the project had captured his imagination. Wellington City Council also showed their support, with Mayor Celia Wade Brown making an appearance. A number of project sponsors came along to wish the team well before the competition along with our newest sponsor, the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Celia Wade Brown, team member Nick Officer and Tim Lusk

In the lead up to the competition we have released four videos which give you an insight into what living in the house would be like along with how the house was put together and how it works. Check out the videos below to take a closer look at the Meridian First Light house.

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