Solar Decathlon 2013

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that the Solar Decathlon 2013 will take place October 3 through October 13, 2013 at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California. This site is the first time the event has been held outside of Washington, DC. It would only seem appropriate as a location for this event, as the design of the park itself was the result of a competition won by New York landscape architect Ken Smith.

The competition challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

This free event will showcase 20 highly efficient, solar-powered houses in a specially constructed solar village at the Orange County Great Park. Visitors can gather ideas to use in their own homes and learn about energy-saving features and products that can help them save energy and money.


The competition houses will be open to visitors on eight days over two weekends. Public hours will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily: Thursday, October 3 – Sunday, October 6, 2013 and Thursday, October 10 – Sunday, October 13, 2013.

Twenty university teams have been selected to participate in the Solar Decathlon 2013, including several west coast universities, including the University of Southern California, Stanford, California Institute of Technology, Santa Clara University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico.