The Washington Times - October 4, 2013, 03:12PM

The government may be shut down but the sun still shines on the Energy Department, which is running the Solar Decathlon, a contest for solar-powered houses.

“Not only is the village open, but today also marks the first day of the competition,” Decathlon spokeswoman Carol Anna wrote in a blog post kicking off the event on Thursday.


In the past the competition was held on the National Mall but this year’s event is in Irvine, Calif. — which is fortunate, since the Park Service has shut down sites on the Mall such as the open-air World War II Memorial.

“It’s all systems go,” Energy Department spokeswoman Chris Kielich told E&E, a trade publication that covers energy and environmental news.

The contest was funded by last year’s appropriations and by support from 30 private-sector partners, the spokeswoman told E&E — though she said it’s being run with reduced staff.

But where Congress and President Obama weren’t able to shut down the expo, Mother Nature still could.

On Friday Decathalon organizers posted a weather advisory saying it was shuttering temporarily due to the Santa Ana winds.

“The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO is temporarily closed to the public as high winds at the Orange County Great Park prompted officials to wait for better conditions,” officials announced — though they said contest judging continued without interruption./