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Solar Decathlon Expands Again: Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean Announced

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

By Solar Decathlon

The Solar Decathlon is proud to announce the newest member of its global family: Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean. On Monday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, Colombia Minister of Energy and Mines Amylkar Acosta, Mayor of Santiago de Calí Rodrigo Guerrero, and Director of Planning of Colombia Tatyana Orozco signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the development of Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean.

“President Obama’s Climate Action Plan calls on the United States to work with other nations to lead the world to a cleaner, more prosperous future. By working together with partner nations like Colombia, we can increase global energy security and confront the challenges of a changing climate,” said Poneman. “Building on successful international Solar Decathlons in Europe and China, the U.S. Energy Department looks forward to Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean—supporting a new generation of engineers, architects, and energy entrepreneurs in Latin America while driving clean energy innovation and sustainable development worldwide.”

Under the MOU signed today, the countries will exchange information regarding rules, scoring, judging, safety, and site and team selection for a Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean event to take place in Santiago de Cali, Colombia, in December 2015. In addition to educating students, the competition is intended to encourage private sector participation in the energy sector and promote sustainable development and land use planning.

Photo of a group of people standing in meeting room around a table. They hold duplicate copies of an MOU. In the background is the U.S. Department of Energy seal. On the table are small American and Colombian flags.

An MOU between the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Planning Department, Ministry of Mining and Energy for the Republic of Colombia, and the Municipality of Santiago de Cali was signed Monday to establish collaboration toward Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean.

“We consider the Solar Decathlon a unique opportunity to generate incentives among our Latin American and Caribbean students to use their innovative skills to design buildings that are energy-efficient and self-sufficient, contributing to national and regional sustainable growth,” said Acosta.

Since 2010, the Energy Department has helped launch four international Solar Decathlon competitions:

The MOU signed Monday marks the first step toward a Solar Decathlon competition in Latin America.

Around the world, the Solar Decathlon challenges university teams to design and build affordable, innovative, and highly energy-efficient solar-powered houses.

The first U.S. Solar Decathlon was held in 2002, and the competition has since occurred every two years. The next U.S. competition will be held in Irvine, California, in fall 2015.

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