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A video of Rice University’s Solar Decathlon home*

The solar power trend still hasn’t rocketed through mainstream America.

But if you want to see solar homes lined up one right after another, proudly exhibiting the latest solar technology and energy-saving appliances/building materials, look no further than the National Mall.

From October 8 through 18, the Department of Energy is hosting its Solar Decathlon, showcasing small homes designed by teams from 20 colleges and universities. Coordinators selected the competitors two years ago.

The groups apparently “descended” upon the Mall yesterday, according to a DOE press release. The houses will first be open to the public starting on Oct. 9, following a set of contests judging the homes based on architecture, market viability, engineering, lighting design, net metering and variety of other areas.

Here are the teams that will be competing:

  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Iowa State University (Ames, IA)
  • Penn State University (University Park, PA)
  • Rice University (Houston, TX)
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL)
  • Team Boston (Boston Architectural College, Tufts University) (Boston, MA)
  • Technische Universitat Darmstadt (Winner, 2007 Solar Decathlon) (Darmstadt, Germany)
  • Team Ontario/BC (University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, Simon Fraser University) (Ontario, Canada)
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
  • The University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
  • Universidad de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR)
  • Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Madrid, Spain)
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Lafayette, LA)
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)

*Rice U. is my alma mater. I think I took a photography class with that guy.