The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the 20 student teams that will compete in the next U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon, which will be held in Washington, DC, in 2011. Every two years, the competition takes place over two weeks on the National Mall. To participate, collegiate teams design, build, and operate affordable, energy-efficient solar-powered homes.

“These students are tomorrow’s leaders in helping develop a clean energy economy,” says U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Their innovative projects will help raise public awareness about energy efficiency, help save consumers money and reduce carbon pollution.”

The 2011 teams will represent:

  • Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.;

  • City College of New York in New York City;

  • A combined team from Florida State University, The University of Central Florida, The University of Florida, and The University of South Florida, in Tallahassee, Orlando, Gainesville, and Tampa, Fla., respectively;

  • Florida International University in Miami;

  • Ghent University in Ghent, Belgium;

  • A combined team from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and University of Massachusetts at Lowell in Boston and Lowell, Mass., respectively;

  • Middlebury College in Middlebury, Ver.;

  • A combined team from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswich, N.J., and New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, N.J.;

  • The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio;

  • A combined team from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., and Hampton University in Hampton, Va.;

  • Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.;

  • A combined team from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles and California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.;

  • A combined team from Stevens Institute of Technology and The New School in Hoboken, N.J., and New York;

  • Tongji University in Shanghai;

  • The University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta;

  • The University of Hawaii in Honolulu;

  • The University of Maryland in College Park, Md

  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, Ill.;

  • The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn.; and

  • Victoria University of Wellington in Wellington, New Zealand.

Schools applying for the 2011 Decathlon were chosen by a panel of engineers, scientists, and experts from the DOE's Natioanl Renewable Energy Laboratory. A panel from the American Institute of Architects, National Association of Home Builders, the U.S. Green Building Council, building industry media, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers also evaluated all applicants. Each team had to meet criteria demonstrating their viability, including their ability to design and build an entirely solar-powered house, to raise additional funds, to support the project through integrated curriculum, and to assemble a team to carry the project through to completion.

For more information on the 2011 Solar Decathlon, visit solardecathlon.org.