The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it will accept offers for a new site for the 2013 Solar Decathlon. The biennial competition challenges collegiate students to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy efficient, and attractive. The competition has been held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., since 2002, and was located between the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol. In January 2011, Richard King, director of the Solar Decathlon, announced that the competition would be moved from the National Mall, and in February, it was announced that the competition would remain in the District of Columbia for 2011, but would be located at West Potomac Park, located between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials on the National Mall.

On Aug. 2, DOE Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the DOE will now consider sites from around the country as hosts for the 2013 competition. Additional details on the solicitation are online through the FedConnect system, under the reference number DE-SOL-0003159. Proposals are due by 12 pm EST on Aug. 29.

The Solar Decathlon 2011 will take place Sept. 23 through Oct. 2, 2011. It is open to the public, free of charge. More information on this year’s event can be found online at