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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Solar District Cup

Challenging students to design reliable, resilient, cost-effective solutions for increased penetration of distributed solar energy on a campus or in an urban district

Department of Energy

Type of Challenge: Ideas
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Submission Start: 04/01/2019 10:00 AM ET
Submission End: 09/12/2019 5:00 PM ET


The U.S. Department of Energy Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition (Solar District Cup) challenges multidisciplinary student teams to present forward-thinking solutions and to design and model optimized distributed energy systems for a campus or urban district.

The competition engages students across engineering, finance, urban planning, sustainability, and other disciplines or degree programs to reimagine how electric energy is generated, managed, and used in urban areas. Students analyze electric-distribution grid interactions and assume the role of a solar-plus-storage developer to produce a proposal for a district use case. Learn more at and register to compete:


No cash prizes are provided; teams will be recognized for their competition success.


Solar District Cup rules are available at starting July 31, 2019. Teams must agree to the terms and conditions listed at upon registration.

Judging Criteria

A qualified panel of judges, comprising subject-matter experts and partner district representatives, will be selected by the competition organizers.

Judging criteria are provided in the Solar District Cup rules.

How To Enter

  1. Go to the Challenge Page at
  2. By the registration deadline, one person on each team shall submit a “Registration” entry on HeroX to complete registration on behalf of their team. Additional members can be added at any time.