The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says that 16 student teams from colleges and universities around the country and the world have been selected to participate in the DOE’s Solar Decathlon 2017 competition.
The competitors, including eight returning teams and eight new, will now begin the nearly two-year process of building solar-powered houses that are considered affordable, innovative and highly energy-efficient.
“President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy aims to create a safer and more sustainable planet while ensuring American students and workers have the skills they need for the challenging jobs of today and tomorrow,” says Richard King, director of the Solar Decathlon.
“The Solar Decathlon competition supports the department’s commitment to improving the nation’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics education efforts and to building a more knowledge-intensive workforce,” King says.
Over the coming months, the Solar Decathlon teams will design, construct and test their houses before reassembling them at the Solar Decathlon 2017 competition site. Teams will compete in 10 different contests – ranging from architecture and engineering to home appliance performance – while gaining hands-on experience in clean energy design.
According to the DOE, the winner will be the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The teams will be competing for $2 million in prize money.
The student teams will showcase their solar-powered houses at the competition site in mid-2017, providing free tours of renewable energy systems and energy-efficient technologies, products and appliances.
The following teams have been selected to compete in Solar Decathlon 2017:
- Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland);
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, Fla.);
- Georgia Institute of Technology;
- HU University of Applied Science Utrecht (Netherlands);
- Missouri University of Science and Technology;
- Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.);
- Rice University (Houston);
- Syracuse University;
- University of Alabama at Birmingham;
- University of California at Berkeley;
- University of California, Davis;
- University of Maryland;
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas;
- Washington State University;
- Washington University (St. Louis); and
- West Virginia University.