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Solar Decathlon Blog - Events

Below you will find Solar Decathlon news from the Events archive, sorted by date.

Apply to Compete in the 2020 Design Challenge Today!

Wednesday, 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.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon offers two tracks: (1) an annual “Design Challenge” and (2) a biennial “Build Challenge.” The latest Competition Guide includes the 2020 Design Challenge Rules and updates to the 2020 Build Challenge Rules. Note that applications for the 2020 Build Challenge closed December 10, 2018. Participating Build Challenge teams will build and showcase their homes June 25–July 5, 2020, in partnership with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., during which winners will be announced.

2019 Design Challenge Weekend April 12-14, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. (Photo: John DeLa Rosa/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.)

 

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. The winners are those teams that best blend architectural and engineering excellence with innovation, market potential, building efficiency, and smart energy production. The U.S. Department of Energy 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.

Additional details are on the Solar Decathlon website. The Department of Energy is excited to work with the next generation of building science professionals!

Congratulations to the 2019 Winners!

Tuesday, 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

Monday, 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!

Monday, 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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Livin’ the Dream at Solar Decathlon Middle East

Friday, 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

Thursday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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

Friday, 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 National Student Competition

Wednesday, 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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Tomorrow’s Leaders Share STEM Advice with Today’s Middle-Schoolers

Friday, October 6, 2017

By Casey Kreiter

Albert Einstein once said, “That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.” This advice to his son, encouraging him to practice piano and carpentry, still holds true 102 years later. I’ve certainly found myself surprised by the clock after teaching an anatomy lesson at Iowa City Regina or during a football practice with my fellow Denver Broncos. I agree with Einstein—passion is the key.

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Opening Day: Seen and Heard

Thursday, October 5, 2017

“We realized only one of our two panels was producing power, so we had to troubleshoot. We fixed the wiring and were all set.”
— Bill Bach, team leader, Northwestern University

Students from Northwestern University get their solar panels competition-ready for the first day that teams can log points in Solar Decathlon 2017. (Credit: Jack Dempsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)
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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.

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10 Reasons to Visit the Solar Decathlon

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

By Kristin Madding

A free event that will blow your mind is about to land in the Denver area. It’s the Solar Decathlon: a multiday, multiteam, multidisciplinary competition that pits collegiate teams against one another in categories of design, engineering, energy, and more. (Goosebumps!) It’s essentially the national championship of solar home building. But, instead of tossing the ole pigskin, teams from the United States, Switzerland, and the Netherlands are building full-size houses featuring the latest sustainability tech to compete in 10 contests. It’s … kind of a big deal.

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Bark Twice if Your Dog Wants to Go Solar

Thursday, May 25, 2017

By Alexis Powers

The Solar Decathlon has inspired many design competitions over the past 15 years, among them the Energy Department’s Collegiate Wind Competition, Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Tiny House Competition, the Alliance for Green Heat’s Wood Stove Design Challenge, and EmPower’s Solar Student Competition. But we’ve never seen anything quite like this before.

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