U.S. Department of Energy

    DOE, Interior Department Announce New Solar Decathlon Site

    March 2, 2011

    Photo of a boxy residence with solar panels on its slightly inclined roof.

    Team California took an early lead but finished third in the 2009 Solar Decathlon.
    Credit: Stefano Paltera/DOE Solar Decathlon

    DOE and the Department of the Interior announced on February 23 that DOE's Solar Decathlon 2011 will be held beginning in late September at the National Mall's West Potomac Park. The competition—featuring 20 highly efficient solar homes designed and built by college students from around the globe—will be staged on the peninsula just south of the new Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial between the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Potomac River. The event is being moved from its previous location on the Mall between the Washington Monument and the Capitol to balance demands on the Mall.

    This year's biennial contest features the work of 16 domestic and four international collegiate teams from Belgium, Canada, China, and New Zealand. The teams' projects will undergo extensive testing and expert judging in ten different contest categories. Each contest is worth a maximum of 100 points, for a competition total of 1,000 points. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. This will be DOE's fifth Solar Decathlon, with previous events held in 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009. The public will be encouraged to meet the students and visit their innovative solar homes. Specific viewing hours for this year's competition will be published later. See the DOE press release, a preliminary mapPDF, and the Solar Decathlon website.