Solar Decathlon — a competition for 20 university-led teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are energy efficient, affordable, and attractive — may get an entirely new venue in 2013.  Today Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the DOE is considering offers for a new Solar Decathlon 2013 venue through a “request for capability” open through August 29, 2011.

Details of the request are available through FedConnect using a search for reference number: DE-SOL-0003159.

The announcement was made on a blog entry, explaining: “For the first time, in an effort to expand the excitement generated by the competition and encourage participation from new communities, the Department is inviting venues across the nation to compete for the opportunity to host this award-winning event.

The DOE is looking for a suitable site and a project manager to act as the local point of contact.  The site must be 6-8 acres or larger, accessible by 20 modular homes, flat, obstruction free, and available for 20-30 days.  The site must also allow for large vehicles and cranes and must have clear access to the sun.

We’ll follow the news and keep you posted, but before anything happens on this front, Solar Decathlon 2011 will take place at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park, September 23 through October 2, 2011.

[+] More on the Solar Decathlon 2011 request for capability.

Credit: Stefano Paltera/DOE Solar Decathlon 2009.