For the first time in the event’s history, next year, the next U.S Department of Energy Solar Decathlon will not take place on Washington, D.C.’s, National Mall. At an event in Albuquerque, N.M., yesterday, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Steve Chu announced that in 2013 the biennial competition will be held at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.

“As President Obama made clear in the State of the Union address this week, we need to ensure that the next generation of America’s architects, engineers and entrepreneurs have the hands-on experience and training they need to lead our nation’s clean energy future,” Chu said. “The Solar Decathlon will unleash the ingenuity, creativity and drive from these talented students to demonstrate new ideas for how families and businesses can reduce energy use and save money with clean energy products and efficient building design.”

Throughout the next two years, teams from colleges and universities from around the country and the world will design, build, and test solar-powered homes to be assembled at the decathlon. As part of the competition, teams compete across 10 categories, including architecture, engineering, heating and cooling, and affordability.

The DOE has selected the following teams to participate:

  1. Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico (Tempe, Ariz., and Albuquerque, N.M.)

  2. Czech Technical University (Prague, Czech Republic)

  3. Hampton University and Old Dominion University (Hampton and Norfolk, Va.)

  4. Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vt.)

  5. Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Mo.)

  6. Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.)

  7. Queens University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College (Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

  8. Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, Calif.)

  9. Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology (Los Angeles)

  10. Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.)

  11. Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.)

  12. The Catholic University of America, George Washington University, and American University (Washington, D.C.)

  13. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.)

  14. The University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College (El Paso, Texas)

  15. University of Calgary (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

  16. University of Louisville, Ball State University and University of Kentucky (Louisville, Ky.; Muncie, Ind.; and Lexington, Ky.)

  17. University of Nevada Las Vegas (Las Vegas)

  18. University of Southern California (Los Angeles)

  19. Vienna University of Technology (Vienna, Austria)

  20. West Virginia University (Morgantown, W.Va.)

Located between San Diego and Los Angeles, the 1,347-acre Orange County Great Park is the redeveloped, publicly owned portion of a 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. Photos of the park are available online, and a map can be accessed online as well. As in years past, visitors will be able to tour the Solar Decathlon houses, which will be in the Great Park Solar Village in the fall of 2013.

For extensive coverage of the 2011 Solar Decathlon—including interviews with team members and slide shows of the sketches, drawings, models, and renderings behind their houses—click here: http://www.eco-structure.com/2011-solar-decathlon.aspx.