UTEP Selected to Compete in National Solar Competition, Only Student Team from Texas

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that The University of Texas at El Paso has been selected to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. UTEP, along with El Paso Community College (EPCC), will compete with 19 other student teams from across the world.

“This is a great opportunity to engage students across UTEP and EPCC campuses in an activity where they will experience the real life challenge of sustaining our lifestyle while minimizing our energy needs,” said Richard Schoephoerster, Ph.D., dean of the UTEP College of Engineering. “We are proud to represent the Sun City, and we hope the ideas we come up with will be a model for innovation here in El Paso and throughout the globe.

As part of the competition, the UTEP-EPCC team will design, build and operate a cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive solar-powered house, which will be displayed at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. The house will be judged in 10 different categories to include architecture, engineering, energy balance, market appeal, affordability and communications. The multidisciplinary team includes students from the colleges of Engineering, Liberal Arts and Business Administration.
 
“We look forward to working with our partners, the El Paso Community College and the El Paso Electric Company, to compete against highly ranked schools across the globe,” Schoephoerster added.

In April 2011, UTEP received an initial gift of $200,000 from the El Paso Electric Co. to support the team’s entry into the decathlon. Richard Fleager, senior vice president for external affairs and customer care at El Paso Electric, said that the company is pleased to assist UTEP’s participation in the Solar Decathlon, and it has high hopes for the student team to have a successful entry that will serve as a model for solar home construction in the El Paso area.

“This project once again demonstrates the commitment of UTEP and EPE to the development of renewable energy," Fleager said. "It is our hope that this project will serve as a model for the next generation to learn more about and to advance the technology of renewable energy.”

Information: UTEP College of Engineering, 915-747-6444