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Student team to take on the world

Student team to take on the world

A Victoria University team is heading to the US with their solar-powered bach to compete in the US Department of Energy 2011 Solar Decathlon.

The team is the first finalist ever from the Southern Hemisphere in the prestigious and highly anticipated international competition.

The Solar Decathlon competition challenges university teams from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.

The Victoria team's entry into the competition - the Meridian First Light house - was assembled on Wellington's waterfront earlier this year to a fantastic public response. More than 20,000 people toured through the house over the 18-day opening period.

The house travelled from Wellington to Washington DC over sea and land for a month to reach the competition site. The team, led by students from Victoria's School of Architecture will now join the house in the US, their journey a lot quicker by flight.

The team will assemble the house in less than seven days on the National Mall's West Potomac Park before competing in a series of ten contests. These contests challenge the teams to run their houses entirely from the energy collected from the sun's energy.

"We're incredibly proud of the house and the team, it's been two years of hard work but we are so excited to compete on the world stage," says team member Nick Officer. The team has tough competition and hard work ahead of them but they have high hopes.

Nick says: "We're going to show the world what we're made of and we plan to win."

The competition takes place over 21 days, the New Zealand team will compete against university teams from the US, Canada, China and Belgium.

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