Welcome to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition! The Solar District Cup challenges multidisciplinary student teams to design and model optimized distributed energy systems for a campus or urban district. These systems will integrate solar, storage, and other distributed technologies and capabilities across mixed-use districts, or groups of buildings served by a common electrical distribution feeder. The competition engages students across the engineering, urban planning, and finance disciplines to reimagine how energy is generated, managed, and used in a district.
Teams will compete in one of multiple divisions, each with a distinct district-use case and winner, based on the quality of their solar energy system design. The strongest concepts will provide the highest offset of annual energy and power, as well as financial viability, as determined by a techno-economic analysis conducted by students and evaluated by judges. The goal is to design, model, and present the most reliable, resilient, and cost-effective system possible.
Students will present their solutions to judges at a high-profile industry event, where the winners will be selected.
The Solar District Cup prepares students to become leaders in the next generation of distributed solar energy. As competitors, students will:
The competition encourages collaboration with academia and industry.
The Solar District Cup is directed and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. Learn more.