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Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017

About Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. 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 first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition has since occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015. The next Solar Decathlon is planned for 2017 in Denver, Colorado.


One of the U.S. Department of Energy's most successful outreach efforts, the Solar Decathlon helps accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient products and design by:

  • Educating students and the public about the money-saving opportunities and environmental benefits presented by clean energy products and design solutions
  • Demonstrating to the public the comfort and affordability of homes that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with off-the-shelf renewable-energy systems
  • Providing participating students with unique training that prepares them for the clean energy workforce.


Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has:

  • Involved 130 collegiate teams, which pursued a multidisciplinary approach to study the requirements for designing and building energy-efficient, solar-powered houses
  • Established a worldwide reputation as a successful educational program and workforce development opportunity for thousands of students
  • Positively impacted nearly 20,000 collegiate participants
  • Expanded to Europe, China, Latin America, and the Middle East to involve an additional 94 teams and nearly 12,500 participants through Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 (Madrid, Spain), Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 (Madrid, Spain), Solar Decathlon China 2013 (Datong), Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 (Versailles, France), and Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean 2015 (Santiago de Cali, Colombia)
  • Educated the public about the benefits, affordability, and availability of clean energy solutions by generating widespread media coverage and harnessing digital tools to reach millions of people.