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Santa Ana winds temporarily close sections of Solar Decathlon

Santa Ana winds temporarily close sections of Solar Decathlon
Santa Ana winds force the closing of the Solar Decathlon. Above, a photo of the SCI-Arc and Caltech house from earlier this week. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

Solar Decathlon, the U.S. Department of Energy biennial student competition to design and build modern sustainable houses, was forced to close temporarily on Friday because of the Santa Ana winds whipping through the competition site at the Great Park in Irvine. About 1:30 p.m., however, officials said the houses would reopen for public touring around 2:30 this afternoon. Portions of the related green design expo remained temporarily closed Friday. [Update: The green design expo reopened Saturday.]

The houses are scheduled to be open through Sunday, closed for judging Monday through Wednesday, then reopen for public viewing Oct. 10 to 13. Severe seasonal winds forecast this weekend could pose some challenges for about 20 university teams, most of which have solar panels on roofs and temporary landscaping exposed on the competition site, a former Marine base runway.

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Readers can look for updates on the official Solar Decathlon blog and read our ongoing coverage on our Solar Decathlon main page.

Twitter: @cnakano

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