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Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017

Things To Do

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a live demonstration of the latest technologies and materials in energy-efficient design, clean energy technologies, smart home solutions, water conservation measures, electric vehicles, and sustainable buildings.

Explore these activities offered at Solar Decathlon 2017:

If you are looking for information about hotels, restaurants, and other accommodations and amenities in Denver, the Visit Denver website provides an excellent source of information.

Solar Decathlon Tours

Visitors can tour the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 competition houses during public exhibit hours:

  • Thursday, Oct. 5–Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 9, 2017: 1 p.m.–7 p.m. CLOSED DUE TO WEATHER
  • Thursday, Oct. 12–Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

Two tour options are available:

  • Solar Decathlon Village Tours

    Docents are available on a first-come, first-served basis to provide 20- to 30-minute walking tours of the Solar Decathlon village. These tours depart every 15 minutes from a designated location at the event site.

  • Solar Decathlon House Tours

    See inside the Solar Decathlon houses and meet the team members who built them on a house tour. Each Solar Decathlon team provides approximately 15-minute tours of its competition house during public exhibit hours.

Solar Decathlon Special Events

Celebrate the Solar Decathlon with these competition events:

  • Opening Ceremony

    Join us as we kick off the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017! The Opening Ceremony takes place 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.

  • Contest Winner Announcements

    The first-, second-, and third-place winners of these contests will be announced as follows:

    • Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, 10 a.m.–Architecture Contest and Water Contest
    • Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, 10 a.m.–Communications Contest and Innovation Contest
    • Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, 9:30 a.m.–Engineering Contest and Market Potential Contest (part of the Competition Awards Ceremony)

  • Competition Awards Ceremony

    Join the celebration as we announce the overall winners of Solar Decathlon 2017! The final awards ceremony will take place Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, at 9:30 a.m.

Solar Decathlon Education Events

Homeowner and Consumer Workshops

Consumer and homeowner workshops covering topics such as residential energy efficiency and solar energy will be offered during the Solar Decathlon.

Homeowner and consumer workshops will be offered over four days:

  • Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017
  • Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017
  • Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 - Cancelled
  • Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
  • Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017

A detailed schedule of homeowner and consumer workshops is available.

Solar Training for Design Professionals

The Solar Decathlon provides a living laboratory of examples of technical and design approaches to high-performance homes that incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy and focus on sustainable design principles.

A continuing education (CEU) workshop for building professionals will be held in the education tent:

  • Monday, Oct. 9, 2017- Still scheduled, despite weather.
    Location: Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Learning Center

Detailed information about the workshop is available.

The American Solar Energy Society is holding its annual conference concurrent with the Solar Decathlon and will also offer workshops for consumers and professionals.

Education Days

Middle-school groups can attend an all-day field trip to the Solar Decathlon. Students will be able to ask questions of a dedicated volunteer “mentor” guide, tour the Solar Decathlon village and team houses, interact with the collegiate teams, and participate in an hour-long energy workshop.

Four Education Days are planned:

  • Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 6, 2017: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 13, 2017: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

These field trips are by reservation only. Grants to offset the cost of buses are available to schools. For more information about Education Days, email

Educator Professional Development

The Educator Professional Development workshop at Solar Decathlon 2017 has been cancelled.

Solar and Related Industries Career Fair

Solar Decathlon 2017, Wells Fargo, and The Solar Foundation are offering a career fair for individuals seeking work in the solar and related industries. The fair will present opportunities for networking and connecting with hiring managers and human resources representatives from companies in the Denver area and around the country.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017: 12–3 p.m.

Please note, to make it possible for decathletes to attend this event, the Solar Decathlon village is not open to the public on Oct. 10. Attendees to the Career Fair will not be able to tour the competition houses.

Learn more and register to attend.

Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive

The Solar Decathlon and the American Lung Association in Colorado invite visitors to learn about the latest in electric vehicle (EV) technology and what it is like to own an EV, including:

  • Available discounts and incentives for vehicles and chargers
  • How electric vehicles can save money
  • The great features of different electric vehicle models
  • How to charge electric vehicles
  • The role electric vehicles play in curbing harmful emissions
  • How electric vehicles help increase U.S. energy independence.

Qualified visitors will be able to test-drive a variety of vehicles.

  • Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017: 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

The Sustainability Expo at Solar Decathlon

The Sustainability Expo 2017 is a consumer-facing exposition providing organizations an opportunity to showcase their energy solutions and services to the general public interested in the latest energy technologies. Visitors to the Solar Decathlon are invited to attend the Sustainability Expo free of charge during these Solar Decathlon public exhibit hours:

  • Thursday, Oct. 5–Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 9, 2017: 1 p.m.–7 p.m. CLOSED DUE TO WEATHER
  • Thursday, Oct. 12–Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.