WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced the 20 collegiate teams selected to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 and unveiled the competition’s new location — the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.
The 20 teams from colleges and universities across the U.S and around the world will now begin a two-year process to build solar-powered, highly energy-efficient homes that combine affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence. Throughout the two-year process, the teams will design, construct and test their homes before reassembling them at the Solar Decathlon 2013 competition site.
As part of the Solar Decathlon, teams compete in 10 different categories — ranging from best architecture and engineering to energy production for heating and cooling — while gaining invaluable real-world experience in a growing global industry.
“As President Obama made clear in the State of the Union address this week, we need to ensure that the next generation of America’s architects, engineers and entrepreneurs have the hands-on experience and training they need to lead our nation’s clean energy future,” said Secretary Chu. “The Solar Decathlon will unleash the ingenuity, creativity and drive from these talented students to demonstrate new ideas for how families and businesses can reduce energy use and save money with clean energy products and efficient building design.”
In fall 2013, the student teams will showcase their solar-powered houses at the Orange County Great Park, highlighting renewable energy systems and energy-efficient technologies, products and appliances that are already available to homeowners. The selected teams and their proposed projects represent a diverse range of design approaches, building technologies, target markets, geographic locations, climates, and regions, including urban, suburban, and rural settings.
Since 2002, the National Mall in Washington has been the venue for five successful Solar Decathlons. For 2013, Solar Decathlon organizers decided to extend the competition’s reach beyond Washington and showcase energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to a new group of visitors and sponsors. The Orange County Great Park, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, is a dynamic venue that can accommodate the 20 competition houses and the special needs of the Solar Decathlon event — featuring flexible space, ample visitor parking, existing facilities for large special events, and nearby services for visitors. With direct freeway and rail access and generally favorable weather conditions, the Park will also ensure that residents across Southern California have an opportunity to experience the Solar Decathlon.
The following teams have been selected from around the world to compete in Solar Decathlon 2013:
- Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico, Tempe, Ariz., and Albuquerque, N.M.
- Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic
- Hampton University and Old Dominion University, Hampton and Norfolk, Va.
- Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.
- Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Mo.
- Norwich University, Northfield, Vt.
- Queens University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College, Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif.
- Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology, Los Angeles
- Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.
- Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J.
- The Catholic University of America, George Washington University, and American University, Washington
- The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C.
- The University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College, El Paso, Texas
- University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- University of Louisville, Ball State University and University of Kentucky, Louisville, Ky.; Muncie, Ind.; and Lexington, Ky.
- University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas
- University of Southern California, Los Angeles
- Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
- West Virginia University, Morgantown, W. Va.