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Location of U.S. Department of Energy's 2011 Solar Decathlon at the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.

Location of U.S. Department of Energy's 2011 Solar Decathlon at the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC – Collegiate teams featuring over 4,000 students from around the world are putting the finishing touches on their solar-powered houses built on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. Before the event opens to the public, members of the media are invited to take a sneak peek at these highly energy efficient houses during media preview day and to attend the opening ceremony.

WHAT:Media Preview Day: Advance access to students, DOE spokespeople and houses
Opening Ceremony: VIPs, event organizers and students in ceremony and ribbon cutting

Media Preview Day: Wednesday, September 21
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Program and guided tour of solar village, featuring house exteriors
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Sneak peek inside completed houses; personalized tours and interview availability with students and DOE

Opening Ceremony: Thursday, September 22 9:15 - 2:00 p.m. All-team photo of students in solar village 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Opening ceremony with students, U.S. government officials, foreign dignitaries and VIPs 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Interview availability and house access


National Mall’s West Potomac Park, Washington, D.C.
Free Shuttle from Smithsonian Metro: September 21, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
September 22, 7:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

RSVP:Media wishing to attend should RSVP by visiting or contacting or 202-905-3339.

*Advance coordination is required to visit during the Assembly/Construction phase.



Solar Decathlon 2011 teams competing on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park


  • Appalachian State University
  • Canada (University of Calgary)
  • Florida International University
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland
  • Middlebury College
  • New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • The Ohio State University
  • Parsons NS Stevens (Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology, a team that also includes Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School)
  • Purdue University
  • The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology
  • Team Belgium (Ghent University)
  • Team China (Tongji University)
  • Team Florida (The University of South Florida, Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida)
  • Team Massachusetts (Massachusetts College of Art and Design and University of Massachusetts at Lowell)
  • Team New Jersey (Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey and New Jersey Institute of Technology)
  • Team New York (The City College of New York)
  • The University of Tennessee
  • Tidewater Virginia (Old Dominion University and Hampton University

Team houses will open to the public free of charge September 23 – October 2, and the overall winner will be announced on October 1. For full event information, free shuttle details, current standings, high-resolution photos, videos, an event schedule and daily results, visit You may also follow the competition real-time on Facebook at and Twitter at @Solar_Decathlon.

More about the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate students from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. The competition shows consumers how to save money and energy with affordable clean energy products that are available today. The nearly two-year projects culminate in an unprecedented display of affordable green living and design on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park from September 23 – October 2, 2011. The Solar Decathlon also provides participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean energy workforce, supporting the Obama Administration’s goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and businesses money.

News Media Contact: 202-586-4940

For On-Site Inquiries and Logistics: Ben Goldstein, 202-905-3339