The Solar District Cup is a collegiate competition that challenges multidisciplinary student teams to design and model distributed energy systems for a mixed-use campus or district—groups of buildings served by a common electrical distribution feeder.
The competition engages students across disciplines—engineering, finance, urban planning, sustainability, communications, and more—to reimagine how energy is generated, managed, and used in a district.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Solar District Cup Class of 2023–2024 on July 10, 2023. Participants will compete from August 2023 to May 2024. On October 2, 2023, DOE announced the 56 teams from 51 schools that will spend a full academic year developing design solutions to meet the renewable energy goals of campuses or other districts.
How to Participate
For the Class of 2023–2024, students have access to an enhanced training platform to support innovation and learning. Student teams also have two options for their district use cases: (1) assignment to a district use case defined by competition organizers, or (2) a bring-your-own-district division in which students may self-select their district use case, collecting and using the district’s available data on their own, with data synthesis support from competition organizers. All student teams choosing to bring their own district will compete in a division against other teams bringing their own districts. Additionally, the Solar District Cup Class of 2023–2024 has a division for one-semester or two-quarter participation in the winter/spring.
- June 12, 2023 – Launch of 2023-2024 competition
- July 10, 2023 – Competition registration opened
- August 15, 2023 – Rules published
- August 17, 2023 – Informational webinar
- September 28, 2023 – Fall registration closes for full academic year participation.
- October 3, 2023 – Participating teams announced
- November 16, 2023 – Deadline for receipt of Progress Deliverable Package from participating teams
- December 5, 2023 – Registration opens for one-semester/two-quarter participation
- December 7, 2023 – Informational webinar (Register)
- December 14, 2023 – Progress Deliverable Package feedback provided
- January 25, 2024 – Registration closes for one-semester/two-quarter participation
- January 30, 2024 – Finalist teams will be announced
- April 18, 2024 – Deadline for receipt of Final Deliverable Package from finalist teams
- April 27 –29, 2024 – Competing teams present their projects to judges and peers at the Final Competition Event
- April 29, 2024 – Winners will be announced
- Visit Solar District Cup page on HeroX to follow the competition.
- Learn about previous competition classes.
- Subscribe to competition announcement emails.
- Send questions about the Solar District Cup to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This work is funded as part of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office FY2019-21 Lab Call through a project with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.