The U.S. Department of Energy has just announced the location of the 2013 Solar Decathlon – as well as the 20 lucky teams who will be competing for green design glory! After being kicked off the National Mall last year, organizers scrambled to find a back up location – and they’ve found a gem in the Golden State. This fall, the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California will be filled with energy-efficient prefab homes as they duke it out to see which house can generate the most solar energy!

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The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition that challenges 20 collegiate teams to build the most efficient sustainable solar-powered home. The teams construct their houses on-site and battle it out in a series of competitions over 10 days to determine which prefab is the greenest and keenest. This year’s competition will feature an international assortment of teams ranging from Arizona to Vienna – and they’re now beginning their two year journey to create the perfect prefab that scores top marks in affordability, consumer appeal, technology, and of course, design. This year’s teams are:

Arizona State University and the University of New Mexico (Tempe, Ariz., and Albuquerque, N.M.)

Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.)

The Catholic University of America, George Washington University, and American University (Washington, DC)

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.)

The University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College (El Paso, Texas)

University of Calgary (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

University of Louisville, Ball State University and University of Kentucky (Louisville, Ky.; Muncie, Ind.; and Lexington, Ky.)

University of Nevada Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nev.)

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Vienna University of Technology (Vienna, Austria)

West Virginia University (Morgantown, W. Va.)

Czech Technical University (Prague, Czech Republic)

Hampton University and Old Dominion University (Hampton and Norfolk, Va.)

Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vt.)

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Mo.)

Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.)

Queens University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College (Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, Calif.)

Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.)

Stay tuned for the latest updates on the 2013 Solar Decathlon!

+ Solar Decathlon