Solar Cup

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The Solar Cup is a solar-powered boat race competition where students design, build, equip, and race solar-powered boats. It is a contest of design, speed and endurance that allows the participants to use an alternative power source in a real world application. This FREE event is open to the public and is held at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's (Metropolitan) Lake Skinner reservoir in the Temecula area in May.

About Solar Cup

Eastern Municipal Water District has partnered with The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) to bring you the 15th annual Solar Cup event.  Solar Cup is a program where high school teams (grades 9-12), from all over Southern California, spend seven months building and preparing solar powered boats and then compete in sprint and endurance events.

EMWD will sponsor teams from school districts within our service area that have been selected through a lottery selection process.

Metropolitan provides teams with a “hull” boat kit and EMWD/RCWD allots funds to teams for purchasing items to get the boat ready for competition.  The students utilize solar panels to power and maneuver their boats around Lake Skinner in Temecula, California.  Through teamwork, the students work in a positive hands-on collaborative experience that is highly beneficial in fostering a stewardship of our natural resources.

Past Solar Cup participants have received certificates of recognition from state and federal legislators for their participation in this competition.  Due to the popularity and value of this event, and the possibility of multiple teams within a school district applying to compete, the enclosed application must be completed and returned to EMWD by Monday, August 29, 2016.  No extensions will be granted.

Applicants will be notified in early September regarding the results of the lottery drawing.   

Selection Process – The number of teams selected is dependent upon the number of teams METROPOLITAN allows EMWD/RCWD to sponsor.  Teams who applied and were not selected for the 2016 Solar Cup, and teams made-up of more than one school, will be given special consideration for Solar Cup 2017.  If applicable, additional teams will be selected through a lottery process.  Following selection of teams, there will be a thorough review of the selected application packets.  If an application does not meet all requirements the school will be disqualified and another school will be selected.

Team Formation – A team shall consist of no more than 20 students.

Team Support – Advisor, administration, and team members will agree to sign a contract acknowledging requirements of participation, including the mandatory attendance and report requirements.

The Solar Cup 2018 event schedule to be determined.

This event requires the complete support of advisors, students and school administration.

Location Information

Lake Skinner is a drinking water reservoir owned and operated by Metropolitan Water District. It can hold up to 44,000 acre-feet of water (one acre-foot = 360,000 gallons). Because it holds future drinking water, even though the water will still be treated, no swimming, wading or "body contact" is allowed. The lake's fishing and camping activities are operated, by lease agreement, by the Riverside County Parks and Open-Space District.


To Apply for the 2018 Solar Cup program,

please check back in August, 2017.