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Despite being stranded by trucking company, UNLV team gets home to Solar Decathlon site

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Paul Takahashi

UNLV students work on Desert Sol, a solar house that will operate entirely on renewable energy, on Friday, August 30, 2013. Desert Sol will travel to Irvine, Calif., in September to compete against 19 other teams from around the world in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition.

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 | 5:02 p.m.

UNLV Solar House

A doorway is shown here at UNLV's Desert Sol project, a solar house that will operate entirely on renewable energy, on Friday, August 30, 2013. Desert Sol will travel to Irvine, Calif., in September to compete against 19 other teams from around the world in the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon competition. Launch slideshow »

Desert Sol Project

Work continues on UNLV's Launch slideshow »

UNLV’s solar-powered house was delayed en route to its California competition site after the trucks they hired showed up late Friday and then stranded them in Primm.

For the past two years, UNLV has been building a house powered entirely by the sun for the Solar Decathlon, a federal competition that pits 20 universities from around the world against each other to see which campus can develop the most sustainable, eco-friendly and practical home of the future.

UNLV finished constructing its solar house — dubbed DesertSol — last week. The 60-member team of students planned to transport their project by truck from Las Vegas to Irvine, Calif., where the competition is being held Friday.

The DesertSol team had contracted with Medallion Transport and Logistics, which subcontracted four trucks from Pan Western Corp., a North Las Vegas-based transportation company. The trucks were contracted to arrive by 6 a.m. Friday. Arrival was delayed and the house modules didn't depart the UNLV campus until 5:30 p.m., UNLV spokeswoman Megan Downs said.

Pan Western did not have the correct towing and hitching equipment, causing its tires to blow out because it couldn't handle the load. The company left the house modules in Primm on Friday night.

A joint Solar Decathlon team from Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico had also contracted transportation services from Pan Western and had similar problem. The team apparently called the police and had issues getting their solar-powered house back from the company.

A representative from Pan Western could not immediately be reached Tuesday morning.

UNLV contacted contractor Medallion Transport and Logistics, which found another company to complete the delivery. Werdco BC Inc., another local transportation company, came through and delivered the house by Monday evening. UNLV students thanked Werdco BC on their Facebook page.

The UNLV team is currently setting up its solar house for a round of competition starting next month.

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