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Southern California Institute of Architecture

September 21, 2011

The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) announced today that China-based Hanwha SolarOne Co., Ltd. (Hanwha Solar) made a $350,000 cash gift to the SCI-Arc/Caltech entry to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (U.S. DOE) 2011 Solar Decathlon. This is one of the largest cash sponsorships ever received by a U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon team and the largest corporate sponsorship ever received by SCI-Arc. Hanwha Solar also is providing the solar modules needed to power the SCI-Arc/Caltech team solar home, which is now called the SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha Solar CHIP House.

The U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon is an award-winning juried competition that invites university-led teams to design, build and operate solar powered houses that are affordable, energy efficient, and well designed.  “The Decathlon examines new housing typologies, alternative energy sources, and re-imagined technical and material possibilities,” stated SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss. “The subject matter is international, so it’s essential that the global discussion has global financial support.  SCI-Arc welcomes the interest, commitment, and financial support of Hanwha Solar,” added Moss. 

The SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha Solar CHIP House was built on the SCI-Arc Campus in Los Angeles and shipped on five large trucks to Washington D.C., where it will be re-assembled in the weeks preceding the Decathlon competition. The house will be on display on the National Mall from September 23 to October 2, 2011, along with 18 other solar-powered houses designed by student teams from around the world. Every house in the competition is required to be net-zero—that is, to use only as much energy as its solar panels can generate.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Hanwha Solar on this important solar project that opens the door to a sustainable future,” noted Harry Atwater, Director of Caltech’s Resnick Sustainability Institute and Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science.

“We are excited about the partnership between the SCI-Arc/Caltech team and Hanwha Solar,” noted the team’s Project Manager Elisabeth Neigert.  “Their generous contribution as our primary sponsor has been transformative to the team in allowing us to complete the project as envisioned.”

Additional sponsors of the SCI-Arc/Caltech team include NREL, Southern California Edison, U.S. Department of Energy, Dow Chemical, Resnick Institute, Peter Cross, Bosch, The Vinyl Institute, Tim and Neda Disney, among others.  For more information, visit

The SCI-Arc/Caltech Solar Decathlon team is the first from Southern California selected for the competition, which is held every other year.

Take a VIDEO WALKTHROUGH of the SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha Solar House. 

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