A year to the day before the event, the U.S. Department of Energy posted a preview
of the Solar Decathlon 2017
to be held in Denver.
Zero-emission electric vehicles charge along the street. People walk along LED-lighted sidewalks. A commuter train drops travelers off from the airport to enjoy dinner at a corner café. And the houses? They're entirely powered by sunshine.
This might sound like a scene from the distant future, but it's not as far away as you think. Exactly one year from today, Solar Decathlon 2017
will kick off in Denver. The biennial competition challenges teams of college students from around the country to design, build and operate beautiful solar-powered houses that are ultra-energy efficient and balance innovation with cost effectiveness. Fourteen Solar Decathlon student teams
are now hard at work refining their initial plans for houses designed to provide shelter after disasters, conserve water and achieve other goals.
The Solar Decathlon houses will join the landscape at Peña Station Next, a burgeoning "smart city
" between downtown Denver and the airport that city planners began mapping out several years ago. The plan calls for adding 1.5 million square feet of corporate office space, 500,000 square feet of retail stores, 2,500 solar-powered residential units, and 1,500 hotel rooms to the space separating the vibrant urban hub from the nation’s largest airport in total land area.
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