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Energy Department Opens Competition to Select Student Teams for Solar Decathlon 2017

August 26, 2015 - 5:05pm


In support of President Obama’s commitment to a clean energy workforce, the Energy Department today announced for the first time that up to $2 million in prize money will be awarded to collegiate teams selected to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017. 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. Student teams bidding to compete in the next competition will have two years to effectively demonstrate before the American public the affordability and comfort of a sustainable lifestyle.

Marking its eighth award-winning competition nationwide, this high-profile educational program tasks students to design, build, and operate a solar-powered, zero-energy home that blends consumer appeal, energy-efficiency, and design excellence. The effective team will draw talent from engineering, architecture, marketing, and computer science disciplines to present in 10 separate contests—ranging from architecture and engineering to energy production and communications—while gaining valuable real-world experience in a growing global industry.

In summer or fall 2017, 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.

Learn more about this bi-annual competition by following the Solar Decathlon 2015, which will take place Oct. 8-18 in Irvine, California, at their website. To view the results of past events, visit the Solar Decathlon history page and online press room. Follow Solar Decathlon on FacebookTwitter, and Flickr. Or learn about Energy Department inroads in solar technologies.

The Department also announced Wednesday up to $4 million in funding available to one recipient to organize, manage, conduct, and officiate the Solar Decathlon competitions and the associated educational programs in 2017 and 2019. This includes identifying and providing the competition location and venue for the next Solar Decathlon Competition, soliciting sponsorships, hosting the competitions, awarding prize money to the competitors, and promoting EERE’s mission and goals through educational programs and outreach.

For more information on the funding opportunity and to apply, click here.

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.