The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 14, 2014

Crowder, Drury to work together on 2015 Solar Decathlon

NEOSHO, Mo. — Students from Crowder College will partner with students from Drury University next year to design and build a solar-powered house to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

The competition challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winning team will be the one that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The teams were announced Thursday at a news conference in Irvine, Calif. The competition will take place in fall 2015 at Orange County Great Park, Irvine.

Some other colleges that are partnering for the competition are Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University; University of Florida, National University of Singapore and Santa Fe College; and Oregon State University and Portland State University.

Individual university teams are Yale University, Missouri University of Science and Technology and Stanford University.

It will have been a 10-year absence of Crowder College from the Solar Decathlon. Crowder participated in the first two competitions, in 2002 and 2005. Those houses are at the Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology Center at Crowder.

Russ Hopper, MARET Center director, in a telephone interview, said that after 2005 the rules changed to require colleges to have an architecture program. The partnership with students in the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury University, Springfield, has taken care of that requirement.

He said solar-energy technology has improved greatly since 2005, with more efficient solar panels and better inverters that transform sun power to electric energy.

Hopper said the competition will benefit students.

“This is great for our solar program, for our community and for the local economy,” Hopper said in a news release. “We will use the competition as an enhancement to our training. Students who enroll in our solar degree or certificate programs will definitely get to work on the 2015 solar house and, of course, we welcome the participation of the entire Crowder student body.”

Hopper said that the May 2011 Joplin tornado was a motivation for the schools to work together.

“Both schools have worked and continue to work to help the citizens of Joplin recover,” Hopper said. “We all thought that demonstrating a sustainable house that would be both solar powered and disaster resistant would be a good goal.”

The 20 teams will design, build and test their houses before reassembling them at the Solar Decathlon 2015 competition site in California in fall 2015. Hopper said the ability to take the house apart and reassemble it quickly also would be beneficial after a disaster.

“We intended for it to be portable,” he said.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman announced the teams.

“The Solar Decathlon provides the next generation of America’s architects, engineers and entrepreneurs with the real world experience and training they need to strengthen U.S. innovation and support new, clean sources of energy,” Poneman said, during a news conference on Thursday.

Hopper said he would like for the entire college and community to be involved in the project. He said they will welcome assistance.

Web updates

Russ Hopper, director of the MARET Center at Crowder College, said that when work begins on the house, progress will be updated regularly on a website.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read


Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter