U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman announced the 20 collegiate teams selected to compete in the DOE’s Solar Decathlon 2015 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. The teams will now begin the nearly two-year process of building solar-powered houses that are affordable, innovative and energy-efficient.

“As President Obama made clear in the State of the Union address, we need an all-of-the-above energy strategy that creates a safer and more sustainable planet, while ensuring American students and workers have the skills they need for the challenging jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Poneman. “The Solar Decathlon provides the next generation of America’s architects, engineers, and entrepreneurs with the real-world experience and training they need to strengthen U.S. innovation and support new, clean sources of energy.”

The Solar Decathlon 2015 teams, which include eight returning teams and 12 new teams, are:

• California Polytechnic State University;
• California State University, Sacramento;
• Clemson University;
• Crowder College and Drury University;
• Lansing Community College and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University;
• Missouri University of Science and Technology;
• New York City College of Technology;
• Oregon Institute of Technology and Portland State University;
• Stanford University;
• State University of New York at Alfred College of Technology and Alfred University;
• Stevens Institute of Technology;
• University of Florida, National University of Singapore and Santa Fe College;
• The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen;
• University at Buffalo, The State University of New York;
• University of California, Davis;
• University of California, Irvine, Saddleback College, Chapman University and Irvine Valley College;
• Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University;
• West Virginia University and University of Roma Tor Vergata;
• Western New England University, Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá and Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana; and
• Yale University

Over the coming months, the 20 Solar Decathlon teams will design, construct and test their houses before reassembling them at the Solar Decathlon 2015 competition site in Irvine. As part of the Solar Decathlon, teams compete in 10 different contests — ranging from architecture and engineering to home appliance performance — while gaining valuable hands-on experience.

In fall 2015, the student teams will showcase their solar-powered houses at the competition site, providing free public tours of renewable energy systems and energy-efficient technologies, products and appliances that today are helping homeowners nationwide save money by saving energy. The solar-powered houses will represent a diverse range of design approaches; building technologies; target markets; and geographic locations, climates and regions, including urban, suburban and rural settings.

Since 2002, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was the venue for five Solar Decathlons. In 2013, Solar Decathlon organizers extended the competition’s reach beyond Washington to showcase energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to a new group of visitors and sponsors. The Orange County Great Park, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, hosted Solar Decathlon 2013 and welcomed more than 60,000 guests. For Solar Decathlon 2015, the Orange County Great Park was selected once again — providing the West Coast with another opportunity to experience the Solar Decathlon up close.