For Immediate Release: April 30, 2024

Sun-powered racers hit the water at Rancho Seco

Students design, build and race solar boats in California Solar Regatta

On Friday and Saturday, high school and college students from across the region and state will race full-sized, solar-powered boats they’ve designed and built themselves in the 11th annual California Solar Regatta at Rancho Seco Recreational Area.


11th annual California Solar Regatta


Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, 2024
Media availability on Friday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Rancho Seco Recreational Area, 14960 Twin Cities Road, Herald


12 high school and seven college teams, SMUD representatives and other community members

Students used renewable energy and technology skills they’ve learned in school and applied them in a practical, hands-on way. This event creates a fun, exciting challenge that can help inspire students to pursue educational and career paths in STEM fields. The California Solar Regatta is part of SMUD’s longstanding commitment to helping local educators connect students with STEM concepts and career pathways, especially as SMUD aims to decarbonize the region’s power supply by 2030.

Twelve teams of high school students, as well as seven teams of college students, have designed and built 19 solar-powered boats for this event. High school teams will compete on the first day of racing (May 3), and college students will compete on the second day (May 4). All teams will compete in a variety of categories, including speed, slalom skill, endurance and presentation. Winners will receive a variety of prizes and the overall winner will take home a regatta cup.  

The California Solar Regatta is open to the public and racing is slated for 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, with lunch breaks from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. both days.

More information is available at

About SMUD

As the nation’s sixth-largest, community-owned, not-for-profit electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity to Sacramento County for more than 75 years. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. Today, SMUD’s power supply is on average about 50 percent carbon free and SMUD has a goal to reach zero carbon in its electricity production by 2030. For more information on SMUD’s Zero Carbon Plan and its customer programs, visit