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Department of Energy Seeks New Location for Solar Decathlon 2013

October 21, 2011View for printing

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeking a new location for Solar Decathlon 2013. DOE hopes to provide other communities with the opportunity to host the competition and share the economic and education and outreach benefits of the event.

Since 2002, the Solar Decathlon has been held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where it has successfully showcased energy-efficient housing and clean energy technologies. For Solar Decathlon 2013, DOE is seeking a new venue. The event will promote the outreach, education, and economic benefits of energy security, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. By showcasing these technologies, the event should help launch workforce development and renewable energy activities in the area that hosts the Solar Decathlon. In addition, the event should stimulate the local economy by bringing in tourism dollars from those attending.

Through DE-FOA-0000521: 2013 Solar Decathlon and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Showcase Event, DOE intends to partner with a recipient that will host Solar Decathlon 2013. Ideally, this partnership will include appropriate city, state, and local governments.

Initial concept papers are due Nov. 7, 2011. For additional information, see the full text of DE-FOA-0000521: 2013 Solar Decathlon and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Showcase Event. Questions should be directed to Application due date is December 5, 2011 7:59 pm ET (only applicants who submitted concept paper applications by the due date of Nov. 7 and whose concept paper applications were deemed compliant will be allowed to submit a full application.)

The following list provides some mandatory site requirements:

The proposed site must be located in the lower 48 contiguous states due to logistical needs for transporting the houses.

The site must be a minimum size of six acres, however 11-12 acres is preferable with a rectangular configuration in an east-west orientation

The site must be available 23-30 continuous days with an end date no later than November 15. The preferred time is from mid-September to mid-November. This is typically after the Fall College semester begins, but before the temperature drops below 50 degrees during daylight hours. The applicant must identify the dates for which the site will be available and the proposed event dates.

The site must allow 24/7 access to the location allowing the student teams and staff to work on the site around the clock.

There must be limited or no restrictions on construction noise.

The site must have no overhead power or communication lines of any kind over the site.

The site must have the ability to secure structures (houses, tents, etc.) to the ground with stakes or other fasteners.

The site must provide sufficient access for construction activities and vehicles, including access for semi- and flat-bed trucks up to 16' wide, 110' long, 16' tall and weighing up to 120,000 lbs. The site must provide access and working space for five to ten cranes rated up to 160 tons.

The site must have access to utility electric power (400-500kW - 3-phase) or allow for the use of generators that can supply this amount of power.

The site must have some means for internet connectivity, preferably wireless.

The site must have public transit available and/or public parking to support the projected number of attendees for an event of this type.

The site must have sanitation facilities that can support up the projected number of attendees per day.

The site must be supported by emergency response services and on-site medical assistance.

The proposed site must include 24/7 security that includes a plan detailing how the ground and structures will be monitored.

The following list provides some of the desirable site attributes:

The site should have a hard pack gravel or paved surfaced or, if a grassy area is proposed, provide a plan showing how heavy equipment could be moved on the site without difficulty (i.e. planking, steel or other sheeting, etc.)

The site should have access to potable water that can support up to the projected number of attendees per day.

The site should have access to mass media outlets for all major networks.

The site should have photogenic surroundings.

The site should have food and amenities available in close proximity that can support the projected number of attendees per day.

The site should have lodging in close proximity that can support the projected number of attendees per day.

The site should have venues for special events, such as receptions and award ceremonies.

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