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Competition to be held October 7-16, 2005 in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that 18 teams from the United States, Canada and Spain will travel to Washington, DC on October 7-16, 2005 to participate in the second solar decathlon competition to be held on the National Mall. The solar decathlon presents cutting edge architecture, engineering, and technology all of which can all be applied in building homes to generate their own energy, not simply consume it.

"These future engineers and architects are some of the brightest in the world. The innovative technologies the students will present demonstrate that the widespread use of renewable energy to power our homes may be closer than we may think," U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said.

The first-ever Solar Decathlon in 2002 featured examples of ingenuity such as homes with translucent walls that provide light and insulation, solar heated fluid flowing under floors to provide warmth, and fiber optic cables attached to solar collectors to transmit light into a home. This year's competition will once again employ a wide-range of innovative technologies to demonstrate the tremendous possibility of solar power and other renewable energy sources.

The Solar Decathlon teams will compete to see who can build and operate the best designed and energy-efficient solar-powered home. For two years, the teams worked on the design, research and testing necessary to construct and power these homes. Late this summer, the homes will be shipped to Washington, DC where they will comprise a "solar village." The public can tour the homes and take away valuable information about where to find these resources and how to apply them to their exiting homes or ones they will build.

The teams will compete in 10 contests
(http:/ /www  that will judge architecture, livability, comfort, and power generation for heating and cooling, water heating, and powering lights and appliances. Each solar house must also power an electric car.

The colleges and universities competing in the 2005 Solar Decathlon are:

  • California Polytechnic State University
  • Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh, Art Institute of Pittsburgh
  • Concordia University and the Université de Montréal
  • Cornell University
  • Crowder College
  • Florida International University
  • New York Institute of Technology
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • University of Colorado - Denver and Boulder
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Missouri - Rolla and the Rolla Technical Institute
  • Universidad de Puerto Rico
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Washington State University

The primary sponsor of the Solar Decathlon is DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, with its National Renewable Energy Laboratory and private-sector sponsors the American Institute of Architects, the National Association of Home Builders, BP, the DIY Network and Sprint. For more information, go to http:// www

Editor's Note & Media Contact:
Reporters and photographers are invited to track the Solar Decathlon teams' progress between now and the October event on the National Mall. To schedule interviews with DOE officials, student contestants, and competition sponsors, or to witness the various phases of construction and transportation of the houses, please contact Betsy Stephenson at Dittus Communications:  or 202/715-1503.

Media contacts:
Mike Waldron, 202/586-4940
Tom Welch, 202/586-5806