Solar Decathlon 2017 to be in Denver
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 student design competition, which challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive, will take place October 5 - 15, 2017, in Denver, Colorado, Energy Department and Denver officials announced today.
The 14 collegiate teams competing in 2017 will focus on creating high-performance houses that reflect current market conditions, innovative building and the best in sustainable living. Student teams will provide free public tours of their energy-efficient houses featuring cutting-edge technologies on these dates: Thursday, Oct. 5â€“Monday, Oct. 9, and Thursday, Oct. 12â€“Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
â€œThe U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges and inspires students to become our next green energy industry leaders,â€ said Under Secretary of Energy for Science and Energy Dr. Franklin Orr. â€œThe students in the Solar Decathlon competition gain invaluable hands-on experience on appealing designs, sustainable materials and cutting-edge technologies. Denverâ€™s passion to create eco-friendly developments serves as a model for communities throughout the country and the world.â€
â€œDenver is proud to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to host this fun and engaging academic competition in our city,â€ said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. â€œThis opportunity not only further elevates the Denver metro areaâ€™s leadership in energy efficiency, but also allows us to spotlight our burgeoning solar energy industry.â€
The 2017 competition has been enhanced with challenging new contests to motivate students and boost the publicâ€™s interest in accessible, sustainable living. The upcoming event is designed to present solutions for today's clean energy marketplace, with emphases on innovation in all areas of sustainable living; water use and re-use strategies; smart energy use and market potential.
The competition will retain emphases on cost-effective architectural design; energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, appliances and electronics; occupant health and comfort; and communications.
For the first time, teams are eligible for cash prizes. Each team that successfully builds a solar house at the site and finishes the competition will receive $100,000. The third-place finisher will receive $150,000, the second-place finisher $225,000, and the first-place finisher will receive $300,000.
The Solar Decathlon 2017 is a true public-private partnership, bringing together the U.S. Department of Energy; Energetics, Inc., the program administrator for the event; the City of Denver; Denver International Airport (DIA); and private corporate sponsors to facilitate a dynamic event in the Denver metro region.
The event will take place near the 61st & PeÃ±a â€œsmart stopâ€ on the new commuter rail A-line connecting Denver International Airport to downtown Denver, within 10 minutes of DIA and 40 minutes of downtown Denver. Denver, DIA, Panasonic and Xcel Energy are collaborating on a transit-oriented, sustainable development at this rail station. The development will be built out to emphasize sustainable, vibrant urban living, linking employment opportunities with new housing choices along Denverâ€™s eastern corridor.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 competition will feature several additional activities:
The Solar Decathlon Competition and Public Exhibit â€” Free of charge, the public is invited to tour the competition homes, learn about energy efficiency and sustainability, and engage with student teams. Opening celebrations, contest awards and a final competition awards presentation will allow attendees each day to share in the competitionâ€™s excitement. Activities are being planned for consumers and professionals of all ages, promising to engage a wide demographic around sustainability topics.
Community Festival â€”Food trucks, pavilions and family activities will create a festival atmosphere.
Sustainability Expo â€” Forward-thinking companies and nonprofits will share strategies, products and technologies that can be incorporated into homes today and in the future.
Professional Development and Consumer Workshopsâ€” Organizers and sponsors will host workshops featuring an array of green building and sustainability topics for professionals and consumers.
Education Days â€” Multiple field trips are planned for K-12 students with dedicated educational activities and tours of the teamsâ€™ houses, as well as professional development for teachers.
For more information about the U.S. Department of Energyâ€™s Solar Decathlon, including contests, teams and sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Solar Decathlon web site.