Solar Decathlon Village Insider: Have you heard?

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Denver, Colorado
October 5-9 and 12-15, 2017


Solar Decathlon Village Insider

June 2017   

Message from the Director

A lot has happened since our last edition of the Solar Decathlon Village Insider. First, I’d like to introduce myself as the new event director for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017. That statement represents the culmination of my career, so I couldn’t be happier to tell you about how I got here.

I first learned about this competition when I worked nearby the desk of Solar Decathlon’s founder, Richard King. I’ve been a huge supporter of the event since the beginning, having served as a volunteer docent back when the competition was held in Washington, D.C. As the Solar Decathlon has evolved over the past 15 years, I’ve been busy building on my experience with local and international governments, energy sector workforce and education, and renewable energy markets. When the opportunity to lead the Solar Decathlon 2017 event came up, this former commodities trader at the World Trade Center­, Presidential Management Fellow, and dedicated civil servant jumped at the chance.

Linda Silverman, right, is interviewed by Jeremy Kahn from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Digital Team.

Linda Silverman, right, is interviewed by Jeremy Kahn from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Digital Team.

I’ve landed in this role at a very exciting time. In the past year, we have expanded the competition to five continents with the addition of a Solar Decathlon Latin America and Caribbean coming to Colombia in 2018, and the first Solar Decathlon Africa to be hosted by Morocco in 2019.

We are also seeing the U.S. competition expand its horizons here at home. For the first time, the event will be held in Denver, Colorado, at the 61st and Peña commuter rail station on the University of Colorado A line connecting downtown Denver’s Union Station to Denver International Airport. I can’t wait to watch as the 2017 solar village takes shape in this future-forward smart city in just a few months.

The event will look different to longtime fans as we expand the education days to more students, provide professional development for teachers for the first time, and offer a larger sustainability EXPO featuring business leaders. The competition itself will include two new contests: Innovation and Water. These changes reflect shifting market dynamics and energy priorities, as well as feedback from past Solar Decathlon teams.

But rest assured, the essence of what makes the Solar Decathlon so inspirational is as strong as ever. We have 12 incredible collegiate teams who have spent the last three semesters envisioning innovative solutions for efficient living. They have submitted seven deliverables so far, including digital project representations, final construction documentation, and public exhibit materials. Most of the teams are busy constructing their houses right now, so please tune in to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to track team progress leading up to opening day on October 5.

Building Bright Futures,
Linda Silverman

From the Blog

A photo collage of house designs by the teams competing in Solar Decathlon 2017.

Get a Sneak Preview of Solar Decathlon 2017 Houses
Preview the designs that will be showcased at the solar village coming to Denver in October.

Real World Projects for Hardworking Students
Competition manager and former decathlete Joe Simon likens the formula for success in a Solar Decathlon to finding success in real life.

Five Former Decathletes Who Became Entrepreneurs
Brilliance continues to shine in the businesses launched by students who have competed in the Solar Decathlon.

Über Smart Eco-Inventions Designed by Students
While student-driven innovation has always been present at each biennial event, the 2017 competition will feature a new Innovation Contest for the first time.

#SolarDecathlon Trending Now

Screenshot of a SD team photo on Instagram.

Screenshot of a SD team photo on Instagram.

Screenshot of a SD team photo on Instagram.

Screenshot of a SD team photo on Instagram.


The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design and build full-size, energy-efficient, solar-powered houses that blend design excellence and smart energy production with innovation, market potential, and energy and water efficiency. To learn more about the Solar Decathlon, please visit and follow us on social media.

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