For Immediate Release: May 11, 2022

Sun-powered racers hit the water at Rancho Seco

Students design, build and race solar boats in 9th annual California Solar Regatta May 13 and 14

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 ninth annual California Solar Regatta at Rancho Seco Recreational Area.

To build and race a solar boat, students must use the renewable energy and technology skills they’ve learned in school and apply them in a practical, hands-on way. The event creates a fun, exciting challenge that can help inspire students to pursue educational and career paths in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. SMUD’s 2030 Zero Carbon Plan will eliminate all carbon emissions from the power supply by 2030 through several strategies, including adoption of new and emerging green technologies. That’s why future leaders and innovators in green technologies will be needed more than ever to sustain and expand SMUD’s Clean Energy Vision.

Ten teams of high school students, as well as 10 teams of college students, have designed and built 20 solar-powered boats for this event. High-school teams will compete on the first day of racing (May 13), and college students will compete on the second day (May 14). The winner of the high-school regatta will also join the college competition on Saturday. All teams will compete in a variety of categories, including speed, slalom skill, endurance and presentation. The overall winner on each day takes home a regatta cup.

More information is available at

Date: Friday, May 13, 2022

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. media availability

Location: Rancho Seco Recreational Area (Picnic Area “A”)

14960 Twin Cities Road

Herald, CA, 95638

SMUD is committed to helping local educators introduce renewable energy concepts to students as early as possible, especially as progress is made on SMUD’s efforts to decarbonize the region’s power supply. SMUD supports STEM education by providing a variety of special events and teacher training opportunities through the year, including the Solar Car Race, the California Solar Regatta, the Electricity Fair and many more.

The California Solar Regatta is open to the public and racing is slated for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday, with lunch breaks from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. both days. More than 30 SMUD employees are volunteering to help run the event.