Solent City is an imaginary city on the shores of the Solent covering an area bound by and including Portsmouth, Southampton and south of the line of the M27. (The Isle of Wight is not included.) The population is evenly distributed.


The Competition is to develop a concept design for the combined energy supply and transport for a carbon neutral powered city.

A. Energy. Competitors must design an efficient, cost-effective energy supply system for Solent City which complies with the following:

  1. Energy can be sourced from any fuel or natural resource providing that there are no net CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.  Power generation and storage, which may or may not be integrated, may take place inside and/or outside the city and may be distributed or centralized or a combination of both.  In addition to ensuring no net CO2 output, the emission of other noxious gases and activities harmful to the environment must be minimised.
  2. (a) Competitors must calculate the City’s total energy requirements based on 2015 usage in the UK for a population of 2 million people.
    (b) Although in reality energy consumption varies from hour to hour, the proposed power supply system must be able to meet the maximum hourly forecast rate at any time of day or night.
    (c) The energy supplied must be sufficient to meet all the city’s requirements (transport, industry, services, heating, cooling, commerce, domestic activity, infrastructure operation etc.).  This requires identification of the energy requirements for each activity.
    (d)  In calculating the overall energy requirement it should be assumed that UK energy consumption is evenly distributed i.e. a population of 2 million has energy requirements linearly proportional to the total UK requirements in 2015.
    (eg. disregard the fact that UK heavy industry may be located elsewhere or that some UK locations may require more heating.)
    (e) In addition energy saving technologies which could reduce the requirement are to be identified and their impact estimated.
  3. Energy supply solutions must include proposals for redundancy to provide ongoing energy supply for critical services in the case of breakdown; assume up to 80%  of normal power supply is lost and identify which services are critical, how much power each such service requires and how its supply is to be met for up to 24 hours.
  4. The benefits and costs of a large centralized energy supply infrastructure is to be compared with distributed, self-sufficient, stand-alone units which might be found in individual domestic properties.
  5. A detailed technical description must be given for the energy capture/generation, storage and distribution for all methods of energy supply proposed.

B. Transport. Competitors must also design an efficient, cost-effective transport infrastructure for Solent City complying with the following:

  1. The people of and visitors to Solent City need transport both to travel within the city and outside by land sea and air. Competitors must design a total transport system whose energy requirements comply with the principles set out in A above and can be supplied by the solution for A.
  2. A technical description of the design and operation of the all the components of the transport system including infrastructure and vehicles proposed, must be given.

C. General.  The solutions must comply with the following:

  1. Solutions for both A and B must be based on technology available now or likely to be available within the next 10 years.
  2. Solutions must provide the evidence, supported by appropriate calculation, that carbon neutrality is achieved.
  3. Carbon Trading and large scale forestation may not be used.

D. Costs and Implementation. Solutions must give the following:

  1. Estimate the overall equipment, infrastructure, installation and commissioning costs of the energy supply system and transport system, giving the basis for cost estimation, taking account of:

    (a) The initial cost of each type of unit for energy supply and of each major transport component and associated infrastructure costs.
    (b) Running costs

  2. A plan to implement carbon neutral Solent City, identifying the linkage between energy supply availability for each component of the transport system.


The competition is open to first year sixth form (Year 12) teams.  Teams may be of any size provided they can function as an effective team.


Overall presentation 10
Energy Requirement Analysis 10
Energy Supply Strategy 10
Energy Supply Technical Solutions 25
Overall transport system Concept 10
Vehicle designs and infrastructure 25
General, Costs & Implementation
Carbon Neutral Evidence & Calculations 5
Cost and Implementation Schedule 5
Total 100



First Prize:              £500

Second Prizes:       £300

Third Prizes           £200

Plus Merit Awards of £100 for runners up who have addressed all the requirements and presented a cogent, comprehensive submission


Design solutions will be judged by Richard Blott and Charles Matthews with the support and advice from relevant experts.


6th October 2017:  Entry Closing Date.

Register Competition Entry by emailing your intention to participate, the school point of contact and team description (number and if possible names) to

Saturday 4th November 2017: Challenge Workshop (venue TBC).

The Workshop is a forum to test initial ideas about how to tackle the Challenge.  It provides a check that the approach complies with the requirements and the opportunity to seek clarification from Richard and Charles on any areas of concern.  Tips on how to avoid pitfalls will also be offered.

Friday 23 February 2018:  Closing date for submissions.

See ‘DESIGN SOLUTION PRESENTATION FORMAT’ below for submission details.

Saturday 24 March 2018: Final Assessment & Prize Giving.

For the Final Assessment teams will be asked to give a short 10 minute presentation summarizing their Design Solution and to answer questions for 5 minutes about their submissions. The final selection of winners will be based on both the Design Solution Submissions and the short presentation and question and answer activity.


Your Design Solution is an opportunity to present complex issues imaginatively so that they can be clearly understood and are supported by sufficient evidence to establish their credibility.

Design Solutions will be uploaded to the website for judging in a PDF format which can be presented in 30 minutes.  The PDF file should not exceed 20 MB.  Animations or computer assisted designs (CAD), if any, must be embedded in the file so that they can be viewed with standard Microsoft office programmes.    Video up to 5 minutes long may be included if linked to YouTube.


Teams intending to participate in the competition should note the general rules and conditions covering our competitions which can be found on our website ‘’


After the judging and allocation of prizes final project plan presentations will be available to the public on the BlottMatthews website,


Richard Blott and Charles Matthews are engineers who seek to increase student awareness of the opportunity, satisfaction and rewards in professional engineering.

See for their personal details and general competition information.