Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the Department of Energy is considering offers for a new site for Solar Decathlon 2013. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a competition that challenges collegiate students from across the globe to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. For the first time, in an effort to expand the excitement generated by the competition and encourage participation from new communities, the Department is inviting venues across the nation to compete for the opportunity to host this award-winning event. The Solar Decathlon has attracted thousands of people to experience first-hand the benefits of homes that incorporate clean energy technologies, and, as a collegiate competition, supports the Obama Administration’s comprehensive efforts to build a 21st century clean energy economy by helping to train the next-generation of American engineers and architects.
“The Solar Decathlon challenges the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to become pioneers of clean energy technology and efficient building design,” said Secretary Chu. “This is a great opportunity for these talented students to showcase cutting edge technologies that will change the way we build homes and save families money.”
The Solar Decathlon provides participating students with unique training to enter our Nation’s clean energy workforce. As part of the Obama Administration’s larger goal to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and maintain a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce, DOE creates and supports initiatives that engage students to learn about energy technologies and issues. The Solar Decathlon is one such workforce development program designed to educate and train university-level students who will build their careers in the clean energy sector. The contest also fosters greater adoption of clean energy technologies and energy efficient construction techniques that help America compete in the global marketplace.
The Solar Decathlon has been held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. since 2002. The competition and public demonstration has been very successful in showcasing energy efficient housing and clean energy technologies in the metropolitan Washington area. The solicitation announced today will allow DOE to consider a new venue to host Solar Decathlon 2013. For more detailed information on the solicitation, click here and search for reference number DE-SOL-0003159.
Solar Decathlon 2011 will take place at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., September 23 through October 2, 2011. This year’s competition will be the Department’s fifth Solar Decathlon; previous events were held in 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Open to the public free of charge, the Solar Decathlon enables visitors to tour the houses and learn about money-saving clean-energy solutions for their own homes.