The MorningStar Solar Home is a 100% renewable-energy powered home on Penn State’s campus that produces all the energy needed for its operation (plus some extra for electric vehicles). The MorningStar is currently used by teachers and faculty across Penn State as an immersive learning destination for teaching and learning about sustainability. It is also used for research in the topics of energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart grid systems.
It was built for the 2007 Solar Decathlon by a team of more than 800 students and faculty, and was designed to provide a tangible example of sustainable design and energy strategies that are relevant to our climate in Pennsylvania. The home was first assembled at Penn State and engineered for transport to Washington, D.C. During the decathlon, thousands of visitors toured the competing homes while the student teams used their homes to score points in 10 decathlon contests including architecture, engineering, lighting and marketability. The Penn State team scored fourth place in the field of 20 international universities. At the close of the decathlon, students disassembled MorningStar Pennsylvania and transported it back to Penn State, where it stands permanently for the benefit of the State College and Penn State Communities.
The MorningStar home features a host of sustainable building practices and includes solar, wind, and geothermal energy systems.
This solar home represents an important step forward in energy solutions for the future, and has helped Penn State to grow new teaching and learning programs in energy efficiency, solar energy, and sustainability leadership. Penn State’s Architectural Engineering Department manages the site. If there are any questions about the site, please contact David Riley or Holly Seidel or call Seidel at 814-865-6396.
The MorningStar home is located at the Sustainability Experience Center on Penn State's University Park Campus (see map here).
Travel Tip: When traveling via the Blue Loop, get off the bus at the Jordan East Parking lot, cross Porter Road and walk toward the tall wind turbine.