Solar Decathlon 2017 Media Preview on Wednesday; Competition Opens Thursday Featuring Deputy Secretary of Energy Brouillette

First Look at Student-Designed Solar Houses & Advance Interviews with Students, VIPs

DENVER, CO, Oct. 02, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eleven teams involving hundreds of collegiate students from the United States and Europe are putting the finishing touches on highly energy-efficient, innovation-packed solar houses for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 (see photos here), which takes place in Denver for the first time after successful runs in Washington, D.C. and Orange County, California. The collegiate teams have spent the last week assembling their unique solar houses in preparation for the competition that begins Thursday, October 5, at the 61st & Peña Station on the commuter rail connecting Denver International Airport to downtown Union Station. Before the event opens to the public, members of the media are invited to take an exclusive sneak peek at these innovative houses on Wednesday and to return on Thursday for the opening ceremony when U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette officially kicks off the competition.
Visit our media resources page and download our online media kit to help you cover the event. 

WHAT & WHEN:    

Media Preview Day & Open House: Wednesday, October 4

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Welcoming program and guided tour through the Solar Decathlon village featuring student introductions of solar-powered houses; an inside look at the completed houses; advance interviews with students and Solar Decathlon Director Linda Silverman; compelling video and photo opportunities of student teams showcasing their houses                             

Opening Ceremony: Thursday, October 5

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
All-team photo of students in Solar Decathlon village; we suggest media arrive by 7:45 a.m. if planning to capture the team photo

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. 
Media set-up and advance seating in the Wells Fargo Education Tent

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Opening ceremony in the Wells Fargo Education Tent with student teams, Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, and other Energy Department officials, sponsors, special guest speakers, and VIPs

11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Interview availability with students, guided tours, house access, and great photo ops during the first day of the public exhibit

61st and Peña Station, Denver, Colorado – view directions to the site; there will be a designated lot, along with some off-street parking, for media; please contact us at 202-28-SOLAR (76527), or email us here to make arrangements if you have equipment needs.

Media wishing to attend are encouraged to RSVP by contacting Eric Escudero, media relations contact at the U.S. Department of Energy, at or (720) 234-3417. Also, visit our media resources page and download our online media kit to help you cover the event. 


Solar Decathlon 2017 teams competing in Denver, Colorado

  • Las Vegas: University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Maryland: University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
  • Missouri S&T: Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Missouri)
  • Netherlands: HU University of Applied Science Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands)
  • Northwestern: Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois)
  • Swiss Team: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design, and the University of Fribourg (Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Team Alabama: University of Alabama at Birmingham and Calhoun Community College (Birmingham, Alabama)
  • Team Daytona Beach: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, Florida)
  • UC Berkeley/U of Denver: University of California, Berkeley, and University of Denver (Berkeley, California)
  • UC Davis: University of California, Davis (Davis, California)
  • Wash U – St. Louis: Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri)


The student-built houses will open to the public for free tours October 5-8 and October 12-15 from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and October 9 from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The overall winner will be announced on Saturday, October 14 at 9:30 a.m. Ride the University of Colorado A line commuter rail to the event site at the 61st and Peña Station (6045 N. Richfield St.) near Denver International Airport. Free parking will be available, as well as $2.00 parking in the solar-covered parking lot operated by RTD (see directions and a map). For full event information, current standings, high-resolution photos, and videos, visit You may also follow the competition in real time on Facebook at and Twitter at @Solar_Decathlon. Photos are also available on Flickr at


More about the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition made up of 10 contests that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency. Competing students gain hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter the energy workforce. Solar Decathlon is more than a student competition. It’s an intensive learning experience for consumers and homeowners as they experience the latest technologies and materials in energy-efficient design, innovative energy technologies, smart home solutions, water conservation measures, electric vehicles, and sustainable buildings.


Solar Decathlon 2017 is made possible by a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Energetics Incorporated, with the generous support of the Solar Decathlon 2017 Supporting sponsors Wells Fargo, the City and County of Denver, and Denver International Airport (DEN), and Solar Decathlon 2017 Contributing sponsors L.C. Fulenwider, Schneider Electric, Regional Transportation District, Xcel Energy and Panasonic Enterprise Solutions.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


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