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Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Brouillette Cuts Ribbon, Kicks Off Solar Decathlon 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Collegiate Teams Showcase Innovative Solar Houses in International Competition

 

Visit our media resources page and download our online media kit and b-roll package to help you cover the event.

DENVER, CO – Eleven teams involving hundreds of collegiate students from the United States and Europe have assembled at the 61st and Peña Station in Denver, Colorado, to showcase their highly energy-efficient, innovation-packed solar houses for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 (see photos here). This signature Energy Department event is making its debut in Denver after successful runs in Washington, D.C., and Orange County, California. Today’s opening ceremony, headlined by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, kicked off the highly anticipated international competition that shows consumers how to save money and energy with affordable energy products that are available today.

“The Solar Decathlon inspires and challenges college students to think creatively about energy innovation for the future through design,” said Deputy Secretary Brouillette. “Students are actively addressing global energy challenges such as reliability, resilience, and security by incorporating the use of innovative energy and water efficiency technologies into their professional projects.”

This award-winning competition engages students from across the nation and Europe to develop the skills and knowledge to become the next generation of energy experts. The competition fosters collaboration among students from different academic disciplines including engineering, architecture, interior design, business, marketing, and communications, who otherwise might not work together until they enter the workplace. Over the last decade, the U.S. competition and its international counterparts have prepared approximately 35,000 students worldwide to become future innovators in clean energy technologies and efficient building designs.

Thousands are expected to visit the houses, which will be open to the public free of charge on eight days over two weekends:  from Thursday, October 5, through Sunday, October 8, and Thursday, October 12, through Sunday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. MDT. It will also be open on Monday, October 9, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. MDT. Visitors are able to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today. The overall winner will be announced on Saturday, October 14, at 9:30 a.m. MDT. This Solar Decathlon is the eighth U.S. competition since 2002.

This year’s collegiate teams were chosen nearly two years ago through a competitive process. The selected teams and their projects represent a diverse range of design approaches, building technologies, and geographic locations, climates and regions – including urban, suburban, and rural settings. They also aim to reach a broad range of target housing markets including empty-nesters, disaster relief, low-income, multigenerational and single-family, and Native American communities. Teams have gathered their combined interdisciplinary talents to design and build the houses, as well as to raise funds, furnish, and decorate the houses, and optimize the houses’ performance.

Solar Decathlon 2017 teams competing in Denver, Colorado

  • Las Vegas: University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Maryland: University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
  • Missouri S&T: Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Missouri)
  • Netherlands: HU University of Applied Science Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands)
  • Northwestern: Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois)
  • Swiss Team: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg (Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Team Alabama: University of Alabama at Birmingham and Calhoun Community College (Birmingham, Alabama)
  • Team Daytona Beach: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, Florida)
  • UC Berkeley/U of Denver: University of California, Berkeley, and University of Denver (Berkeley, California)
  • UC Davis: University of California, Davis (Davis, California)
  • Wash U – St. Louis: Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri)

 

Ride the University of Colorado A line commuter rail to the event site at the 61st and Peña Station (6045 N. Richfield St.) near Denver International Airport. Free parking will be available, as well as $2.00 parking in the solar-covered parking lot operated by RTD (see directions and a map). For full event information, current standings, high-resolution photos, and videos, visit www.SolarDecathlon.gov. You may also follow the competition in real time on Facebook at Facebook.com/DOESolarDecathlon and Twitter at @Solar_Decathlon. Photos are also available on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/solar_decathlon/.

More about the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition made up of 10 contests that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency. Competing students gain hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter the energy workforce. Solar Decathlon is more than a student competition. It’s an intensive learning experience for consumers and homeowners as they experience the latest technologies and materials in energy-efficient design, innovative energy technologies, smart home solutions, water conservation measures, electric vehicles, and sustainable buildings.

Solar Decathlon 2017 is made possible by a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Energetics Incorporated, with the generous support of the Solar Decathlon 2017 Supporting sponsors Wells Fargo, the City and County of Denver, and Denver International Airport (DEN), and Solar Decathlon 2017 Contributing sponsors L.C. Fulenwider, Schneider Electric, Regional Transportation District, Xcel Energy and Panasonic Enterprise Solutions.

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