Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Supporters of a new Sustainability Decathlon see OC Fairgrounds as an epicenter for innovation

A recent effort to brand Orange County as a sort of Green Silicon Valley – where students, businesses and innovators collaborate on sustainability projects with the potential to reverse the effects of climate change – has found an epicenter in Costa Mesa.

State Sen. Dave Minn (D-Irvine) and two Chapman University professors who oversee an annual survey on county residents’ public policy views spoke with Orange County Fair and Event Center officials Friday in a new conference call. joined to announce The Sustainability Decathlon is scheduled to arrive at the OC Fairgrounds in 2023.

Modeled after the US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, the biennial event will feature 18 teams of collegiate and postsecondary researchers, architects, builders and innovators from around the world to design and build sustainable housing models that can be easily replicated and replicated. can be reproduced.

Chapman University professor Michael Moodyan speaks Friday at a news conference at the OC Fair and Event Center, which will host the global sustainability event in 2023.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Min, who has secured $5 million in the 2021-22 budget allocation for the decathlon, said, “We have set some ambitious mandates when it comes to zero-emissions housing, but we will not reach them without some sweeping innovations ” “We hope this will help reverse the effects of climate change and help provide affordable green housing here in California.”

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Organizers explained that the OC Fairgrounds presented an ideal venue for the event, which is estimated to attract 150,000 people during its 11-day run, from October 5 to 15.

Fred Smoller, an associate professor of political science for Chapman University, described test rides of the latest zero-emissions vehicles, electric motorcycle races in fairgrounds and a drone show, among other attractions offered at the event.

The idea, he said, is to educate and engage audiences in sustainable practices and advancements, so they can see what’s possible.

    Dave Minn (D-Irvine), center, presents a $5 million dollar check Friday to officials at the OC Fair and Event Center.

State Sen. Dave Minn (D-Irvine), center, presents a $5 million dollar check Friday to officials at the OC Fair and Event Center.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

“One [objective] The goal is to help California reach the goal of a 100% clean energy future,” Smoller said. “A second goal … is to make Orange County the sustainability capital of the world. It’s a heavy lift, and we’re going to need everyone’s help to do it.”

While it’s still unknown how much revenue the Decathlon could generate, Min said the OC Fair and Event Center’s recent ban on gun shows on state-owned property is sure to offset any income loss. was. A bill written by the Irvine senator last year.

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SB 264 was signed into law last year by Governor Gavin Newsom and took effect Jan. Intended as a wholesale ban of the sale of guns and gunpowder on all state properties, it was narrowed in scope at the 11th hour to apply only to Costa. Mesa Fair Grounds.

“When we finished the gun show at the OC Fairgrounds, one complaint was that they would lose revenue,” he said, citing an annual average of $800,000. “It’s going to be a lot more than five to 10 years’ worth of revenue from the gun show.”

Min has since written another law, SB 915, which aims to once again impose a statewide ban. It recently passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will go before the vote of the full assembly.

OCFEC Chief Executive Michelle Richards acknowledged that the Decathlon fits into the center’s mission of providing access to unique educational and recreational experiences.

“All eyes will be on Costa Mesa, right here at the OC Fair & Event Center, as we host an event that will draw widespread attention to the importance of sustainability,” she said. “We are excited to move forward with this new business partnership.”

For more information visit ocsd23.com.

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Nation World News Desk
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