The Solar Decathlon is coming Denver! In 2017 the Department of Energy will bring the olympics of solar power, the Solar Decathlon, to Denver from Oct. 5 through Oct. 15. It’s also the first time event will offer cash prizes to competing teams.
It’s also adding in new contests to see how teams can better engage the public. It’s the first time the event is being held in the Denver and the second location for the biennial challenge outside of Washington, DC.
The events will be held near the 61st & Pena “smart station,” a light rail stop, in Denver. “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.”
In 2017 fully 14 collegiate teams, some made of multiple colleges, both national and international, will compete in a series of events to test their homes on energy efficiency, cost, architectural design, use of solar energy and more. It’s also the first time that student teams are eligible for cash prizes, according to the Energy Department. “Each team that successfully builds a solar house at the site and finishes the competition will receive $100,000,” the department said. “The third-place finisher will receive $150,000, the second-place finisher $225,000, and the first-place finisher will receive $300,000.”
“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.” It also helps that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is in nearby Golden.
In addition to the public exhibit, which allows the public to visit and walk through the homes, the decathlon will feature a community festival, a sustainability festival, workshops and will host educational tours. The community festival will feature food trucks, pavilions and family activities and the sustainability expo will feature for-profit and nonprofit organizations showcasing energy efficiency and renewable energy measures and strategies that can be incorporated into homes now and likely in the future.Tweet