The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Blog provides regular updates about Solar Decathlon news and events.
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.
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.
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
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.
Solar Decathlon: Growing Across the Globe
January 24, 2018
By Linda Silverman
Solar Decathlon Director
The international Solar Decathlon movement is alive and well and prospering. There are a lot of new developments in the five international Solar Decathlons being planned in 2018 and 2019. The next event will be Solar Decathlon China, taking place August 2-17 in Dezhou, China, with 22 teams. Solar Decathlon Europe recently announced the 16 teams that will participate in its 2019 event in Szentendre, Hungary. Interestingly, this event will focus on retrofitting houses. Teams interested in competing in Solar Decathlon Africa in September 2019, in Benguerir, Morrocco, have until March 14 to submit their applications. Solar Decathlon Latin America and the Carribbean recently announced its 15 teams that will compete in its 2019 event. Finally, Solar Decathlon Middle East will host 21 teams competing in its November 2018 event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Solar Decathlon Here, There, and Beyond
October 30, 2017
By Megan Close and Daniel Rubin
Video by Garrett Bourcier and Cody Williams
While the U.S. Department of Energy closes the chapter on Solar Decathlon 2017, our fellow global competition organizers are gearing up for multiple international events. Next year, Solar Decathlon China and the first Solar Decathlon Middle East will take place. In 2019, Solar Decathlon Europe, Solar Decathlon Latin American and the Caribbean, and the first Solar Decathlon Africa will host solar villages inspired by the U.S. competition.
Solar Design Lessons from the 2017 Solar Decathlon Winners
October 26, 2017
This article was originally published on the blog of Aurora Solar, a solar design and sales software company.
By Andrew Gong
Two weeks ago, during the Solar Decathlon 2017 competition, we explored the solar powered house designs from participating university teams. The designs showcased many creative and resourceful design strategies—and presented a fun challenge for modeling in Aurora.
With the competition now complete, today’s post takes a closer look at the top three teams to identify some of the solar design lessons from their success.
Back to the Future, Solar Decathlon Style
October 23, 2017
By Ruby Theresa Nahan
Now that Solar Decathlon 2017 has officially come to a close, and the 11 innovative houses have moved from the competition site at the 61st and Peña Station in Denver to their next destination, I think it’s a perfect time to reflect on the impact the Solar Decathlon might have on the future. Most students who have participated in Solar Decathlon since 2002 might not be familiar with the 1985 film to which my title alludes, but all are very familiar with, quite literally, holding the future in their own hands. Even if they don’t realize it yet.
And Now … Winners of the Official Unofficial Solar Decathlon Contests!
October 15, 2017
By Ruby Theresa Nahan
If you read our They Build Through Rain, Sleet, Snow or Hail blog post, you’ll know that weather is officially Solar Decathlon’s unofficial 11th contest. And we pretty much had it all—rain, sleet, snow, wind, and lots and lots of mud. It was the first time Solar Decathlon has ever seen snow, and good news—no hail! For the Weather Contest, we’re happy to report an 11-way tie. All 11 teams completed their houses, opened to the public, and participated in the competition.
Take A Minute to Take It All In
October 14, 2017
By Alexis Powers
Time flies when you’re having fun. It also warps when you are working hard. Here in the Solar Decathlon village, it’s been an absolute whirlwind of both ever since assembly began three weeks ago.
Today’s Solar Decathlon Minute packs one of the competition’s most exciting days into just 110 seconds. If that feels too fast to you, then check out the other 10 Minutes we’ve posted on our YouTube channel during the 2017 event. You’ll see highlights from each house, updates on each day’s activities, and even a dancing toilet.
The Swiss Team Wins U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
October 14, 2017
Prestigious Energy Competition Open for Final Weekend
DENVER, CO – Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel Simmons today announced the winning team of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon 2017 in Denver, Colorado. The Swiss Team took first place overall by designing, building, and operating the house that best blended smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency. The University of Maryland took second place followed by the University of California, Berkeley and University of Denver team in third place.
Las Vegas Claims First in the Innovation Contest and Northwestern Wins the Communications Contest at U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
October 13, 2017
Solar Decathlon Open to the Public Today through Sunday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
DENVER, CO – Before a crowd of student competitors near the 61st and Peña Station in Denver, Colorado, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas took first place in the Innovation Contest, and Northwestern University won the Communications Contest of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon 2017. For the Innovation Contest, the collegiate competitors were judged on how well they demonstrated a thoughtful approach to innovation, rather than being limited solely to off-the-shelf solutions, in the design and construction of houses that integrate renewable energy systems and energy-efficient technologies. The Communications Contest rated each team’s effectiveness in communicating the features of their house and their experiences during this project to jurors and the public through a variety of media including websites, audiovisual presentations, displays and tours. For the first time in Solar Decathlon history, teams are taking home prize money. First place in the overall competition (to be announced tomorrow) will win $300,000, second place wins $225,000, third place wins $150,000, fourth place wins $125,000, and fifth through eleventh place will win $100,000 each.