According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will be one of sixteen teams chosen from colleges and universities across the United States and around the world, who “will now begin the nearly two-year process of building solar-powered houses that are affordable, innovative, and highly energy-efficient.” UAB received $35,000 in pledges in support of their 2017 Solar Decathlon Competition proposal.
“President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy aims to create 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 DOE’s Solar Decathlon director, Richard King. “The Solar Decathlon competition supports the department’s commitment to improving the nation’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education efforts and to building a more knowledge-intensive workforce.”
Solar Decathlon teams will design, construct, and test their houses before reassembling them at the Solar Decathlon 2017 competition site, which will be announced soon. The DOE explains, “In the Solar Decathlon, teams compete in 10 contests—ranging from architecture and engineering to home appliance performance—while gaining valuable hands-on experience in clean energy design. The winner of the competition will be the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. For the first time in the competition’s history, the Solar Decathlon 2017 teams will be competing for $2 million in prize money.”