The Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon is coming Denver! The biennial event began in Washington, D.C. and since moved to California. Now the world’s first solar decathlon series of events will make Denver its home in 2017. The 2017 event will be held near Pena Station, a new development close to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and Denver International Airport.
The 2017 competition also represents a new chapter for the decathlon. For the first time ever teams will compete for prize money—$2 million! Each team that participates in the competition and its 10 events, will receive at least $100,000 to help with construction and transportation expenses. The team that wins first place will receive $300,000, second place $225,000, and third-place $150,000.
“As one of the top 10 metro areas for solar installations and sunny days, Denver is a great choice to host the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon,” DOE Under Secretary Franklin Orr said at a press event at Denver’s City Building alongside Denver Mayor Micheal Hancock. “This competition gives students a unique opportunity to take real action on climate change and shape our sustainable future by encouraging the kind of innovation we’ll need to meet our nation’s clean energy goals. I congratulate Denver on becoming our next Solar Decathlon host city, and I wish the participating students the best of luck as they prepare for next year’s competition.”
The decathlon will challenge 16 teams from across the world to design and build a solar-powered, energy-efficient home. The 800-square foot homes are designed and built by collegiate teams sometimes bringing two or more colleges or universities together.
“Denver is proud to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to bring this fun and engaging academic competition to our city,” Hancock said. “This opportunity not only highlights the Denver metro area’s leadership in energy efficiency but allows us to spotlight our burgeoning solar energy industry."
Teams will begin constructing their homes in September 2017. The houses will begin the competition after they’re complete and the event will be open for the public to visit in October. The event brings roughly 60,000 visitors per competition, including more than 500 middle school students who attend the showcase event through scheduled field trips,” DOE said.
“Denver residents love this place, and we’re excited to welcome the participating teams to our great city. We're proud to call Denver home, and we show our love for the Mile High City by doing our part to take care of it,” said Jerry Tinianow, Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “And that includes using clean, renewable energy like solar and wind, which helps residents save money and keeps our air free of pollution.”Tweet