Energy Department Opens Competition to Select Student Teams for Solar Decathlon 2015

November 01, 2013

In support of President Obama's commitment to a clean energy future, the Energy Department today began the process to select collegiate teams to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015. Colleges, universities, and other post-secondary educational institutions are welcome to submit proposals, which are reviewed, scored, and ranked based on a merit review process. Subject to the quantity and quality of proposals, up to 20 teams will be selected to begin a two-year project to build solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence. For the first time in the competition's history, the innovative student-built houses of Solar Decathlon 2013 all generated more electricity than they consumed during the 10-day competition.

Throughout the two-year project, the selected teams will design, construct, and test their houses before reassembling them at the Solar Decathlon 2015 competition site, which will be announced in the coming months. As part of the Solar Decathlon, teams compete in ten different contest categories—ranging from best architecture and engineering to energy production for heating and cooling—while gaining valuable real-world experience in a growing global industry.

In fall 2015, the student teams will showcase their solar-powered houses to the public at the competition site, highlighting renewable energy systems and energy-efficient technologies, products, and appliances that are already available to homeowners to help them save money by saving energy. The selected teams and their proposed projects will represent a diverse range of design approaches, building technologies, target markets, geographic locations, climates, and regions, including urban, suburban, and rural settings.

Since 2002, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., has been the venue for five successful Solar Decathlons. For 2013, the Energy Department decided to extend the competition's reach beyond Washington to Irvine, California, and showcase energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to a new group of visitors. The Orange County Great Park, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, was the dynamic location of Solar Decathlon 2013.

Learn more on the Solar Decathlon website. To view the recent results of Solar Decathlon 2013, which concluded on Sunday, October 13, visit the Solar Decathlon scores and standings page and online press room. Follow Solar Decathlon on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.

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