Terps Win: Secretary Chu awards top honors to UMd at Solar Decathlon

Photo: Department of Energy

Note: The highly efficient solar powered houses will be open to the public for free tours for one final day on Sunday, October 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on the National Mall's West Potomac Park.

WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) -U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Saturday that the{ }University of Maryland has won top honors overall in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011.

The Maryland entry won by designing, building, and operating the most cost effective, energy efficient and attractive solar powered house.

Purdue University took second place followed by New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington) in third place.

The competition pits university designed solar-powered homes against each other. The homes are on display this week on the National Mall's West Potomac Park.

The competition involves 10 contests that gauge each house on factors including performance, livability and affordability. The winning home will produce as much or more energy than it consumes.

Maryland's entry is called WaterShed and includes water-saving as well as energy-saving technologies. Maryland, Ohio State and Purdue lead the overall standings. The engineering winner will be announced on Thursday.

Maryland earned 951.151 points out of a possible 1,000 to win the competition, followed by Purdue with 931.390 points, and New Zealand with 919.058 points. Full competition results and details about the individual contests may be found at