This year's U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon wrapped up on Oct. 18 in Irvine, California. The a competition challenges teams of college students to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.

The objectives of the competition are twofold:

  • to show "consumers how to save money and energy with affordable clean energy products that are available today"
  • to provide "participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter our nation's clean energy workforce."

The winning team is the one that "best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency."

Here are four amazing homes from this year's competition:

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Congratulations goes out to Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey for winning this year's competition. Watch the award ceremony here:

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