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Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017

Solar Decathlon Blog - Events

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

Energy Secretary Opens Solar Decathlon Village

Thursday, October 8, 2015

By Carol Laurie

To the cheers of hundreds of student decathletes, Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz brandished a pair of giant scissors and cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 village. The competition and public exhibit have begun!

Photo of a large group of people standing behind a ribbon falling away from a pair of giant scissors.

Dr. Ernest Moniz, secretary, U.S. Department of Energy (center) cuts the ribbon to officially open the Solar Decathlon 2015 village. Joining him are (left to right) Gaddi Vasquez, senior VP of Edison International; Serge Goldenberg, senior VP of Schneider International; Richard King, director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon; Christine Shea, council member for Irvine, California; Mary Wenzel, senior VP for Wells Fargo; Beth Krom, council member for Irvine, California; and Lynn Schott, council member for Irvine, California. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Opening day began with a photo of Solar Decathlon 2015 student team members, followed by the opening ceremony, which took place in historic Hangar 244 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. Moniz’s keynote speech provided inspiration to the teams.

Aerial photo of a large group of people.

Teams cheer in front of the Solar Decathlon village during an all-team photo on opening day of the 2015 competition at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Speakers included Solar Decathlon Director Richard King, representatives from top-level sponsors Edison International, Schneider Electric, and Wells Fargo; and the City of Irvine City Council. The fun began when Moniz and King introduced the teams, whose excitement spread throughout the room.

Photo of a group of people stacking their hands on top of each other.

Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz is surrounded by team members from the University of California, Davis, during the Solar Decathlon 2015 opening ceremony. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

“These teams have been working hard for two years and they’re ecstatic to finally reach this moment,” says King. “To top it off, the Secretary of Energy told the students how important their work is designing, building, and operating these solar houses and how they’re going to be the next generation of energy leaders.”

With the Solar Decathlon village now open to visitors, Moniz toured houses of several teams: California State University, Sacramento; Missouri University of Science and Technology; Stevens Institute of Technology; and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Not only is the village open, but today also marks the first day of the competition. Follow along, check out the team scores over the next eight days, and see who wins on October 18!

Carol Laurie is the communications manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

 

United States, China Agree to Second Solar Decathlon China

Monday, July 20, 2015

By Carol Laurie

The U.S. Department of Energy, the National Energy Administration of the People’s Republic of China, and China Overseas Development Association have finalized a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the second edition of Solar Decathlon China. 

According to the memorandum, the competition “… is an opportunity for universities and colleges, technology developers, equipment manufacturers, and local and national Chinese government entities working together with United States industry leaders to demonstrate commercially available green building technologies and designs.” 

Planned for 2016 or 2017, the exact dates and location of the international event are to be determined. However, a call for participating teams will be issued in 2015.

Photo of a group of people.

In July 2015, government representatives from the United States and China formally agreed to host a second Solar Decathlon China in 2016 or 2017. Solar Decathlon China organizers include Mr. Hu (third from right), director of the China Overseas Development Association, and Mr. Li, director of the organizing committee (second from right). (Photo courtesy of Hongxi Yin)

The first Solar Decathlon China was held in Datong, China, August 2–13, 2013. The top finishers were:

  1. University of Wollongong (Australia)
  2. South China University of Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China)
  3. Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden).

Solar Decathlon China 2013 involved 22 teams from 35 universities and 13 countries. An estimated 230,000 people visited the public exhibit.

Solar Decathlon China is a member of the international family of Solar Decathlon competitions, which also includes Solar Decathlon Europe, Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean, Solar Decathlon Middle East, and the flagship U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

Carol Laurie is the communications manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

 

Solar Decathlon Continues International Expansion with Solar Decathlon Middle East

Thursday, June 18, 2015

By Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is proud to announce the newest member of its global family: Solar Decathlon Middle East, to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

On June 17, the U.S. Consul General in Dubai Robert Waller and Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Vice Chairman Dubai Supreme Council of Energy His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Ahmad Al Tayer signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the development of Solar Decathlon Middle East.

The MOU marks the first step toward a Solar Decathlon competition to be held in Dubai and spells out a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and Dubai to produce two Solar Decathlon Middle East competitions: the first in 2018 and the second in 2020. A call for applicants for the 2018 competition will be issued this year.

Photo of a group of people standing around and seated at a table.

On June 17, representatives from the United States and United Arab Emirates signed a memorandum of understanding to produce two Solar Decathlon Middle East competitions. Shown here are Richard King, Solar Decathlon director, U.S. Department of Energy (standing, second from left); Robert Waller, consul general, U.S. Consulate Dubai; and HE. Saeed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (seated, left to right). (Courtesy of David Duerden, U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi)

“We are excited to welcome a new international competition to the Solar Decathlon family,” said Richard King, director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. “Solar Decathlon Middle East will further accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and energy-efficient products and design around the world by reaching a new group of students and an even wider public audience.”

Solar Decathlon Middle East will integrate local and regional characteristics while adopting the same philosophy, principles, and model used by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. His Excellency Al Tayer said he believes Solar Decathlon Middle East will be a unique opportunity to generate incentives among Emirate students to design buildings that are energy-efficient and self-sufficient and contribute to sustainable growth.

Per the MOU, Dubai and the United States will exchange information regarding rules, scoring, judging, safety, and site and team selection for Solar Decathlon Middle East. 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.

Since the first Solar Decathlon in 2002, 224 collegiate teams—nearly 32,500 students—have participated in the flagship U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, Solar Decathlon China, Solar Decathlon Europe, and Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean.

The next U.S. competition will be held in Irvine, California, October 8–18, 2015.

 

Solar Decathlon 2015 Kicks Off With Irvine Workshop

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

By Carol Laurie

The countdown begins! On Jan. 9 and 10, some 250 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 students, faculty, and organizers gathered in Irvine, California, for a workshop that served as the backdrop for a weekend of comradery and intense information download.

Photo of a large group of cheering people in front of a balloon and holding a banner that reads, “U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.”

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 teams gather at the Orange County Great Park on Friday, Jan. 9, for an all-team photo. (Credit: Amy Vaughn/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

On Friday, Jan. 9, the teams walked the Orange County Great Park competition site, which was marked with chalk lines to indicate the Solar Decathlon village and each team’s lot. That evening, the Great Park Foundation hosted a dinner at which Irvine city council members welcomed the teams and each team presented a 3-minute introduction of its house design and philosophy.

“Mayor Choi and members of the city council got to hear firsthand from our decathletes and see images of their house designs,” said Solar Decathlon Director Richard King. “We are all excited for the competition to begin in October.”

Photo of a man standing behind a podium addressing people seated around tables.

Solar Decathlon Director Richard King addresses an audience of Solar Decathlon 2015 decathletes, faculty, city council members, and organizers at a welcome dinner hosted by the Great Park Foundation on Friday, Jan. 9. (Credit: Amy Vaughn/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The all-day Design Development Review workshop on Saturday, Jan. 10, immersed teams in the details of this challenging collegiate competition to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses. Solar Decathlon organizers held 15 unique sessions—on topics ranging from house designs to cost estimates to communications, media relations, and sponsorships—with each team.

“This intense, all-day workshop helps teams get their heads around what it will take to compete in the Solar Decathlon,” said Joe Simon, competition manager. “With 9 months to go until the start of contests in Irvine, teams must finish planning and start executing their designs.”

The 17 teams participating in Solar Decathlon 2015 include seven teams that have participated in past U.S. competitions. Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has involved 130 collegiate teams and nearly 20,000 decathletes.

Carol Laurie is the communications manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

 

 

 

Salut Versailles! Solar Decathlon Europe Opens to Visitors

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

By Carol Laurie

On June 28, 20 competition houses from 17 countries and three continents open to visitors in La Cité du Soleil—Solar Decathlon Europe’s solar city in Versailles, France.

Two of the 20 teams represent U.S.-European partnerships:

  • Team Inside Out (Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, and Germany’s University of Applied Sciences–Erfurt)
  • Team Réciprocité (Appalachian State University and France’s Université d’Angers).
Photo of a partially constructed house with two stories and French and U.S. flags waving on the roof.

Maison Réciprocité, the competition house of the Appalachian State University and Université d’Angers team, is shown under construction at Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 in Versailles, France. (Credit: Maureen Clapper)

Keep up with their live monitoring and scoring results on the competition’s home page. You can also keep pace with all the fun on the Solar Decathlon Europe events calendar. In addition, you can find information about the team projects in the projects profile.

Photo of students standing, cheering, and clapping.

Members of Team Réciprocité (Appalachian State University and Université d’Angers) show their team spirit at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 welcome ceremony on June 15. (Credit: Solar Decathlon Europe)

La Cité du Soleil is open to the public from June 28 to July 14. The solar houses are open for visits:

  • Weekdays – 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Weekends – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Solar Decathlon Europe, a complementary competition to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, was hosted by Spain for its first two competitions in 2010 and 2012.

Carol Laurie is the communications manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

 

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