Brace yourself O.C.: It’s unclear if the battle of the Solar Decathlon will return to Irvine’s Orange County Great Park in 2017. This week the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced 16 participating teams who are gearing up for the task of designing and building a solar-powered house, but the feds have yet to announce the competition site.
Hailing from colleges and universities across the United States and around the world—from Rolla, Missouri to Utrecht, Netherlands—the teams have nearly two years to develop an affordable and energy-efficient design strategy.
According to the DOE, the Solar Decathlon teams compete in 10 contests that range from architecture and engineering to home appliance performance. Judges are looking for “[T]he team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.”
In past years, teams had to cover some hefty research, design, construction, and shipping costs. But for one team the gamble will pay off. The winner takes home a whopping $2 million prize. (That’s a pretty huge PV array.)
Homes will be showcased and on view to the public for free tours in mid-2017.
The Solar Decathlon 2017 teams are:
- École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Daytona State College
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- HU University of Applied Science Utrecht, Netherlands
- Missouri University of Science and Technology
- Northwestern University
- Rice University
- Syracuse University
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- University of California at Berkeley
- University of California at Davis
- University of Maryland
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Washington State University
- Washington University
- West Virginia University