Solar Decathlon 2017 Coming To Denver, Colorado

Solar Decathlon 2017 Coming To Denver

Solar Decathlon 2017 is coming to Denver, Colorado

The US Department of Energy’s 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 be held in Denver, Colorado in October 2017. Fourteen collegiate teams from around the world will be competing.

“The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges and inspires students to become our next green energy industry leaders,” said Under Secretary of Energy for Science and Energy Dr. Franklin Orr. “The students in the Solar Decathlon competition gain invaluable hands-on experience on appealing designs, sustainable materials and cutting-edge technologies. Denver’s passion to create eco-friendly developments serves as a model for communities throughout the country and the world.”

“Denver is proud to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to host this fun and engaging academic competition in our city,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “This opportunity not only further elevates the Denver metro area’s leadership in energy efficiency, but also allows us to spotlight our burgeoning solar energy industry.”

The 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.

Blake Boyles (left) speaks to students from Bell Gardens High School in the kitchen of California State University, Sacramento at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)
Blake Boyles (left) speaks to students from Bell Gardens High School in the kitchen of California State University, Sacramento at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

For the first time, teams will be 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 public-private partnership, bringing together the US Department of Energy, Energetics, Inc., the program administrator for the event, the City of Denver, Denver International Airport (DIA), and private corporate sponsors.

The Solar Decathlon 2017 competition will feature several additional activities:

The Solar Decathlon Competition and Public Exhibit — 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 competition’s excitement. Activities are being planned for consumers and professionals of all ages, promising to engage a wide demographic around sustainability topics.

Community Festival —Food trucks, pavilions and family activities will create a festival atmosphere.

Sustainability Expo — 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 Workshops— Organizers and sponsors will host workshops featuring an array of green building and sustainability topics for professionals and consumers.

Education Days — Multiple field trips are planned for K-12 students with dedicated educational activities and tours of the teams’ houses, as well as professional development for teachers.

Electric cars parade down Wells Fargo Way at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)
Electric cars parade down Wells Fargo Way at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The 2017 event will be held October 5-15, 2017, with tours available Oct 5-9 and Oct 12-15, near the 61st & Peña “smart stop” on the new commuter rail A-line connecting Denver International Airport to downtown Denver.

For more information about the Solar Decathlon, including contests, teams and sponsorship opportunities, please visit solardecathlon.gov.

Source and Photos: SolarDecathlon.gov


About the Author

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon. She is currently a Contract Administrator at Rich Duncan Construction.