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Here Comes the Sun: Solar Decathlon Opens To Public Today

September 23, 2011 - 12:53pm


At the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., a new type of neighborhood has taken shape. The solar village is on full display with highly-efficient, solar-powered homes on every block.

Solar Decathlon 2011 opens to the public today. The award-winning program challenges student teams from around the world to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, energy-efficient, and attractive.

"The Solar Decathlon collegiate teams are showing Americans how clean energy products and efficient building design can help families and businesses reduce energy use and save money,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The event challenges talented students to become pioneers of clean energy technology and helps ensure that our nation remains competitive in the workforce of tomorrow.”

 The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The Solar Decathlon houses and surrounding solar village are open to the public, free of charge today, Sep. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011.

·       Weekday hours: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

·       Weekend hours: 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Visit for the latest news, team updates, photos and much more. Be sure to share your own thoughts and experiences at this year's Solar Decathlon on Facebook and Twitter.

If you'll be near D.C., you can come visit all the homes in person. Check out the public exhibit hours, special events, and daily schedules and use these directions and the free public shuttle schedule to plan your trip.