University teams from across the globe are building solar homes on the National Mall in Washington for the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon competition.
Organizers say the winning home will be affordable, comfortable, attractive, easy to live in and supply energy for cooking, cleaning and entertaining. The winning home will also provide adequate hot water and as much or more energy than it consumes.
The homes will be open to the public for free.
The Solar Decathlon begins Friday and runs through Oct. 2.
The competition at the National Mall's West Potomac Park includes teams from as far away as China and New Zealand and as close as College Park, Md. Organizers say the University of Maryland was the first team to qualify for electricity meter installation.