All's Possible Under the Sun

By Elizabeth Razzi in the Washington Post, October 10 2009

A tidy village dedicated to the future of green, solar-powered living has taken over the heart of the National Mall, where 20 teams of college students are vying to see who can build the most appealing energy-efficient home.

The teams, from universities in North America and Europe, are competing in the Department of Energy's biennial Solar Decathlon, which runs through next weekend. The challenge: design and build a prototype house that can provide the comforts of home while generating all the energy residents need from the sun's rays. Teams get bonus points if they can produce surplus electricity and sell it back to the power company.

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