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Solar Decathlon Blog

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Blog provides regular updates about Solar Decathlon news and events.

Two Weeks Left to Apply for the Solar Decathlon 2020 Design Challenge!

October 24, 2019

Collegiate teams have only two more weeks to apply for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2020 Design Challenge. Solar Decathlon gives teams an opportunity to showcase their creativity, ingenuity, and passion for designing highly efficient and innovative buildings. Teams must apply by Tuesday, November 5, 2019, at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. More »

Solar Decathlon Africa: Cool Oasis of Creativity in the Desert

October 4, 2019

By Holly Carr

It took three weeks for a Solar Village to rise in the desert of Morocco. Benguerir, a town of about 100,000 people one hour north of Marrakesh, is home to the first ever Solar Decathlon Africa. Across the hot, red landscape, university students in bright yellow vests rushed here and there, pounding hammers and running saws to put finishing touches to the structures — 18 homes powered by renewable energy.

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One Month Remaining to Apply for the Solar Decathlon 2020 Design Challenge

October 3, 2019

Collegiate teams can test their creativity, ingenuity, and passion for designing highly efficient and innovative buildings by participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2020 Design Challenge. Teams must apply by Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

 

Interested collegiate institutions can find detailed information on how to apply for the 2020 Design Challenge in the Solar Decathlon 2020 Competition Guide. 2020 Design Challenge teams that are selected as Finalist Teams will present their projects at an expert-juried event, April 17–19, 2020, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. More »

Apply to Compete in the 2020 Design Challenge Today!

July 31, 2019

Ready to test your creativity, ingenuity, and passion for designing highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy? The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® 2020 Design Challenge is ready for you!

With the release of the Solar Decathlon 2020 Competition Guide, interested collegiate institutions can find detailed information on how to apply for the 2020 Design Challenge. 2020 Design Challenge teams that are selected as Finalist Teams will present their projects at an expert-juried event, April 17–19, 2020, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

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Congratulations to the 2019 Winners!

April 16, 2019

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University team was victorious as the Grand Winner at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge Weekend. The event was held on April 12–14, 2019, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, and included 45 finalist teams, representing 37 collegiate institutions, across the United States and other countries.

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Save the Date for the 2020 Design Challenge

March 18, 2019

Love designing high-performance buildings? Ready for the experience of a lifetime? The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge is ready for you.

Collegiate institutions can start preparing for the 2020 Design Challenge, planned for April 17–19, 2020, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

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Good Luck to the Design Challenge Finalist Teams!

March 11, 2019

Five weeks and counting! Our teams have been working hard, and we’re excited to announce this year’s finalist teams for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Design Challenge.

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Congratulations to the Solar Decathlon 2020 Build Challenge teams!

January 28, 2019

These collegiate institutions represent a mix of new and returning teams that have participated in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® in previous years. Below are the teams participating in the Build Challenge.

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Livin’ the Dream at Solar Decathlon Middle East

December 7, 2018

By Joan Glickman,
DOE Building Technologies Office

UAE in November … A mix of other-worldly modernism, stunning mosques, an impressive Louvre, beautiful beaches and more … standing side by side in the desert heat, where 90°F is considered mild. And, amidst all this, about 50 miles outside of Dubai, 15 energy- and water-efficient homes, with state-of-the-art technologies, designed and constructed by hundreds of students from across the globe. Sounds like a dream, but it was actually a reality.

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Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Prize Amounts Announced

November 1, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is excited to announce the prize amounts for the Solar Decathlon 2020 Build Challenge. Solar Decathlon Build Challenge teams work during a two-year period to design and build complete houses that incorporate state-of-the-art energy and building design practices and technologies. DOE will select up to 12 finalist teams across the Local Build and National Showcase Divisions. All finalist teams that meet Solar Decathlon Build Challenge requirements will receive prize funds to assist in defraying their costs. Funds will be provided at various points during the two-year period pending completion of specific deliverables and requirements.

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Apply Today! Solar Decathlon Application Deadline, November 6, 2018

September 25, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon continues to “push the envelope” on the design of the most high-performance, efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while leveraging opportunities to showcase student innovation and STEM education, as well as to foster workforce development opportunities.

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Guidance to Collegiate Institutions on Participating in the Build Challenge

September 13, 2018

Participating as a team in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an intense but rewarding endeavor. What makes the Solar Decathlon unique is the interdisciplinary nature of the competition, requiring student and faculty involvement from multiple disciplines and departments, and the real-life experience it provides to students, preparing them for jobs after graduation. At the same time, this requires a lot of support and cooperation from the collegiate institution.

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View this Week’s Webinar on the New Competition

August 24, 2018

If you missed this week’s webinar on the new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon, you can view it on our website. The webinar, “Kick Start Your Solar Decathlon Competition!“, provided an overview of the competition.

DOE will host two more Solar Decathlon webinars, which will discuss competition requirements and answer questions.

Solar Decathlon Design Challenge
Date: September 12, 2018
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Solar Decathlon Build Challenge
Date: September 13, 2018
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET

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Solar Decathlon Competition Guide Released

August 10, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is excited to release the Solar Decathlon 2019–2020 Competition Guide. This guide provides detailed information on competition rules and how to apply. The competition continues to “push the envelope” on the design of the most high-performance, efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while leveraging opportunities to showcase student innovation and STEM education, as well as to foster workforce development opportunities.

As previously announced, Solar Decathlon 2019–2020 will offer two tracks that build on the strengths of previous DOE student competitions: (1) an annual “Design Challenge” that is the new name for the former Race to Zero Student Design Competition, and (2) a “Build Challenge” that expands on the original Solar Decathlon. Teams in both tracks will present their projects at a single expert-juried event in April 2019. The expert jury will select winners of the Design Challenge and separately approve Build Challenge teams to move on to the construction phase. The Build Challenge teams will then go on to build and showcase their designs at public and industry events in 2020, where final Build Challenge winners will be announced. More »

Solar Decathlon National Student Competition

June 20, 2018

DOE is excited to announce the joining of its two student building design competitions, Solar Decathlon and Race to Zero, into one national Solar Decathlon competition.

The combined competition will feature two tracks. The first is a Design-only track (formerly Race to Zero) and the second is a Design/Build track. Each track challenges student teams to “push the envelope” and design the most high-performance, efficient, affordable, innovative buildings while leveraging opportunities to showcase student innovation and STEM education, and foster workforce development opportunities.

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