Student teams named as finalists in DOE solar design competition

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that 35 teams advanced as finalists in its Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition for 2021-2022.

Through the contest, teams design systems that integrate solar, storage, and other technologies for a real-world district or university campus. Teams design their systems based on their chosen entity’s sustainability goals, electric utility rate schedule, development master plan or other relevant information. The three districts for this year’s contest are Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and The Ohio State University.

The finalists are advancing from an initial group of 65 teams from 64 universities.

In November, participants submitted designs and summaries of their proposed systems. Projects were evaluated based on their potential to maximize the district’s energy offset and financial savings while factoring aesthetic, infrastructure, and community considerations.

Teams now will describe their final proposed systems, layout, financial analysis, and other details, which will be submitted in mid-April. The teams then will present their concepts to industry judges at a virtual event in late April. Winning teams, as well as second and third place finishers, will be selected from each division. The first-place division winners will then present their projects again, this time to a public audience that votes to determine the winner.

“Inspiring students to join the clean energy workforce is critical to achieving our nation’s climate goals over the next several years,” said Garrett Nilsen, acting director of DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. “The students who are advancing as finalists in the Solar District Cup are proving that our future workforce is on a strong and promising path. I’m eager to see how their designs evolve over the next few months as they prepare for the final competition event.”

The advancing teams represent 39 schools, including:

Alfred University

Ana G. Méndez University, Gurabo Campus

Appalachian State University

Arizona State University

Boise State University

Broward College

Carnegie Mellon University

Case Western Reserve University

Columbia University

Creighton University

Drexel University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Illinois State University

Miami University

Michigan State University

NC State University

Northeast Lakeview College

Ohio Northern University

Oregon State University-Cascades

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

San Antonio College

Santa Clara University

Southern Illinois University

Stony Brook University

Tennessee State University

Texas A&M University

Texas Southern University

The Ohio State University

The University of Arizona

The University of Minnesota Duluth

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities

The University of Texas at Dallas

The University of Texas at San Antonio

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Denver

University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus

University of Wisconsin-Madison