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Photo of Solar Decathlon Director Richard King being interviewed by a videographer.

Energy, Interior Departments Announce New Location for Solar Decathlon 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 will be held at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park, on the banks of the Potomac River along the path between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.  Specifically, the event will be held on the peninsula just south of the new Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial – scheduled to open in August of this year – between the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Potomac River. The Decathlon will begin in late September as originally scheduled. 

The event is being moved from its previous location on the Mall between the Washington Monument and the Capitol to balance the many uses and demands on the Mall.

“We look forward to holding another world-class Solar Decathlon in a world-class location – the National Mall’s West Potomac Park,” said Secretary Chu. “Keeping the competition on the National Mall property allows the students to proceed with their existing home designs, specifically tailored for Washington’s latitude, temperature, and humidity conditions.  The West Potomac site is in close proximity to a number of attractions and will provide an ideal stage to highlight clean energy solutions for thousands of public visitors.”

“Solar energy is a key component of President Obama’s vision for a new energy future and the solar decathlon is part of that future,” said Secretary Salazar.  “The National Mall is America’s Front Yard and we have a responsibility to do what is best for the long term health of the Mall. I am pleased that we have been able to find a strong alternate location for the Solar Decathlon and I am looking forward to a successful event.”

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. During the competition, 20 homes from 16 domestic and four international collegiate teams, will undergo extensive testing and expert judging in ten different contest categories.  The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. This will be DOE’s fifth Solar Decathlon; previous events were held in 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009.

The Solar Decathlon provides participating students with unique training to enter our nation’s clean-energy workforce. It is also a popular public event, open to visitors who come to see the designs and learn about money-saving clean-energy solutions for their own homes. The public will be encouraged to meet the students and visit their highly efficient, innovative solar homes during the event.  Specific public viewing hours for this year’s competition will be published at a later date.

The Solar Decathlon supports the Obama Administration’s goal of creating an economy based on clean-energy technologies while saving families and businesses money and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

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10 Responses to “Energy, Interior Departments Announce New Location for Solar Decathlon 2011”

  1. Bsew64 Says:

    Why not make all the homes in a place where a family can keep the homes and live in them permanently instead of wasting all that building and dismantling of the homes? please think about that.. Do something real good with them!!

    Bill Seward

  2. archmac Says:

    Wow…you certainly want to keep it hidden, don’t you?! I didn’t think they ever put ANY events way out in that part of the Mall. Sorry, but this confirms my suspicion that some anti-sustainability wingers must have pushed NPS to withdraw the original pemit…this REALLY looks like they are trying to ensure that as FEW people as possible see all these great new ideas and technologies. I feel bad for all these competitors…their great ideas will only be seen by people who already are involved in sustainable design and building, and who are young enough to do a LOT of walking.
    Interesting, even WMATA can’t give me a route to get there from Farragut without two bus trips and a 1-mile walk…ALL Metro stations are over a mile away. Will there be shuttle buses, or will all of us old folks have to be terribly ‘un-green’ and take taxis?
    C’mon…admit it…this has to be a move to kill the Solar Decathlon. Most Walmart parking lots around DC would have been more accessible than this location…and at least at a Walmart there would be a lot of people who would see the decathlon by serendipity!

  3. solardecathlon Says:

    Thank you for your feedback and concern.

    Bsew64, the Solar Decathlon houses are put to many wonderful uses after the competitions end. Some are used as residences, some are used for education and research, and some are used for business and meeting purposes. Very few are actually dismantled. To learn more about where all 72 past Solar Decathlon houses are today, visit http://www.solardecathlon.gov/where_now.html.

    archmac, the Department of Energy is exploring options for shuttle bus service from a nearby Metro station to make it easy for people to get to the Solar Decathlon in West Potomac Park. We also expect significant foot traffic from nearby National Mall attractions such as the Lincoln; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and Jefferson Memorials. Be sure to follow our progress at http://www.solardecathlon.gov for updates on transportation.

  4. MelMac1028 Says:

    Could you please clarify exactly when in late September this event is going to commence and the duration of it?

  5. solardecathlon Says:

    The U.S. Department of Energy has not yet finalized the dates for Solar Decathlon 2011. Although the event will occur within the September–October 2011 timeframe, specific dates have not been set. Once a decision is reached, we will post the dates on our Web site.

  6. galib10 Says:

    I also want to know the duration of the event. I think it will be helpful if they announce the specific date. We want to be stay updated.

  7. solardecathlon Says:

    The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 will be held Sept. 23 through Oct. 2, 2011. See the full blog post for more information.

  8. sasha1grate Says:

    I like it good work

  9. sherrymolina Says:

    It’s good to hear that there contest which encourages individuals coming from around the world to develop, assemble, as well as run solar-powered homes which are inexpensive, extremely power reliable, interesting, as well as simple to reside in.

    Cheers
    Sherry Molina

  10. johansibra Says:

    i think that is good.. to save our earth for lifetime

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