The 2017 SD Competition

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon logo

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition 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. Simply put, there’s nothing else like it.

Solar Decathlon is more than a competition. It’s an intensive learning experience for consumers and homeowners as they experience the latest technologies and materials in energy-efficient design, clean energy technologies, smart home solutions, water conservation measures, electric vehicles, and sustainable buildings.

The Solar Decathlon provides a hands-on experience and unique training that prepares the competing students to enter the clean energy workforce. This international competition has been a driving force in raising awareness about clean energy since its inception in 2002. Technologies and solutions used in Solar Decathlon homes have advanced the residential building industry both in the United States and abroad. Former Solar Decathletes who have participated in these events, whether in the United States, China, Europe, or Latin America and Caribbean, are recognized as the best and brightest, and have made significant contributions to improve the clean energy economy worldwide.

The first U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon was held in 2002 in Washington, D.C. The competition then occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 in Washington, D.C. In 2013 and 2015, the Solar Decathlon moved to Irvine, California. Solar Decathlon 2017 will be held at the 61st & Peña Station on the University of Colorado A line commuter rail in Denver, Colorado.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon invites visitors to tour the team houses free of charge and visit the Sustainability Expo to gather ideas to use in their own homes. Consumers can learn just how easy it is and how good it feels to save energy, water, and money by making smart, sustainable choices. Learn more at

U.S. Department of Energy logo                    Energetics logo