BP to Return As Major Sponsor of the 2007 Solar Decathlon

FREDERICK, Md., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — BP today announced it will once again be a major sponsor of the 2007 Solar Decathlon. The company also was a primary sponsor of the 2002 and 2005 Solar Decathlons. As in the previous competitions, BP Solar again will offer all teams discounted solar materials and technological counseling. BP also will support the event through activities such as hosting functions, sponsoring team gifts and awards, providing volunteer support, and conducting media outreach.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000724/NYM120LOGO )

The Solar Decathlon is a university competition in which engineering and architectural teams from participating schools design, construct, transport and erect completely sustainable solar homes and display them on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Each entry is judged on ten criteria including style, innovation, and efficiency.

According to Mary Shields, BP Solar president for North America, “The past Solar Decathlons have been very successful in creating greater awareness for the potential of solar energy and in advancing the science and technology of photovoltaics through the efforts of the participating universities. We support the Department of Energy’s policy of advancing key scientific and education goals related to energy and renewable sources of power.”

BP Solar today also named the University of Texas at Austin as the winner of its internal design competition for the 2007 Solar Decathlon. For this competition, seven universities submitted design plans that met four specified criteria addressing commercial, economic, technical, and overall efficient design aspects. The University of Texas at Austin team will receive free BP Solar modules for the house they will display at the 2007 Decathlon.

“This is the second time BP Solar has held an independent design competition and this is the second time that UT-Austin has won — and we applaud them,” said Shields. “It’s amazing to see how all the schools responded with innovative solutions. It’s this type of creativity that is taking the industry to the next level, making solar a cost effective alternative for the mainstream homeowner.”

The Solar Decathlon is a biennial event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office (DoE) of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, its National Renewable Energy Laboratory, BP, the American Institute of Architects, and Sprint. The DoE selects 20 schools to compete in 10 contests. Teams are challenged to produce a design that will sustain everyday household functions, power a car, and provide a comfortable and attractive place to live. The 2007 Solar Decathlon will be held next fall on the National Mall in Washington D.C. http://www.eere.energy.gov/solar_decathlon/

BP Solar is a key business within BP Alternative Energy and a global company with over 2200 employees focused on harnessing the sun’s energy to produce solar electricity. This includes the design, manufacture and marketing of quality solar electric systems for a wide range of applications in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. With over 30 years of experience and installations in over 160 countries, BP Solar is one of the world’s largest solar companies and has manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Spain, India and Australia. To learn more, visit http://www.bpsolar.us/.

   Notes to editors:   The BP Solar Internal Design Competition was based on four criteria:    1. How will you commercialize your innovation?  What are the innovations       which set your school apart from the rest? What is your plan to       commercialize and market these innovations?    2. How far can you push the envelope?  How has your team advanced module       mounting technology? What is your overall cost per Watt for the system       racking? How do you keep your team safe on the rooftop?    3. How close is your house to grid parity?  What is the overall cost per       kWh for your design? How does this compare with your local, loaded       electric rates? How long is the return on investment for your system?    4. How well can you take the heat?  How does your design channel heat to       maximize the solar electric performance? How does your house optimize       airflow to minimize cooling loads?   

The University of Texas at Austin Solar Decathlon Team (UTSolarD) is a collaborative research group of more than 30 students and faculty from Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape, Fine Arts, Advertising, Engineering, and Business disciplines, directed through the UT-Austin School of Architecture and its Center for Sustainable Development. http://www.utexas.edu/ and http://www.utsolard.org/.

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000724/NYM120LOGOAP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/PRN Photo Desk, [email protected]


CONTACT: BP press office: +1-202-457-6603; or UT student team lead: AlexMiller, +1-832-816-4422, or UT Faculty team lead: Samantha Randall,+1-512-466-9298

Web site: http://www.bp.com/http://www.bpsolar.us/http://www.eere.energy.gov/solar_decathlonhttp://www.utexas.edu/http://www.utsolard.org/