Denver Will Host DOE’s Next Solar Decathlon Competition


Denver will be the host city for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) next Solar Decathlon competition in fall 2017. Dr. Franklin Orr, the U.S. undersecretary for science and energy, made the announcement alongside Denver Mayor Michael Hancock during a recent event.

According to the DOE, Denver won the bid to host the biennial competition, in which student teams compete to design, build, and operate cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive solar-powered houses. The teams from across the country and around the world will be competing for $2 million in prize money.

In the Solar Decathlon 2017, 16 teams will participate in 10 contests, ranging from architecture and engineering to home appliance performance. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends aesthetics and modern conveniences with maximum energy production and optimal efficiency.

“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,” said Orr during the recent event. “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.”

“This opportunity not only highlights the Denver metro area’s leadership in energy efficiency but allows us to spotlight our burgeoning solar energy industry,” said Hancock.

Over the next 18 months, the competing teams will raise funds; design and build their 800-square foot, 100%-solar-powered houses; and then transport their houses to the Denver competition site. The competition is planned to be staged near a new development close to Denver International Airport.

The 16 participating teams will include eight returning teams and eight new ones. Furthermore, the DOE has announced that Energetics Inc. of Columbia, Md., will serve as the competition’s new program administrator. Learn more about the Solar Decathlon 2017 at

Photo courtesy of Ellen Jaskol: Undersecretary for Science and Energy Dr. Franklin Orr announces Denver as the host city for the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. 

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