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Department of Energy Announces New American-Made Challenge Prize

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $3.25 million for the American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize (Geothermal Prize). A first of its kind for geothermal technology, this prize is designed to spur innovation and address manufacturing challenges fundamental to operating in harsh geothermal environments. This prize further supports the ability of the geothermal industry to reach the target of 60 Gigawatts electric of geothermal capacity by 2050 as outlined in the recently released GeoVision study.

“Additive manufacturing is such a promising technology for so many industries, and this prize will help ensure that our American geothermal industry continues to lead the world in innovation,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “By creating incentives for new approaches to device design, this prize will help unlock the full potential of geothermal power as a clean, reliable, affordable energy source for American homes and businesses.”

As part of the American-Made Challenges series, the Geothermal Prize unites the world’s best-in-class research base with the unparalleled entrepreneurial support system of the American-Made Network. Consisting of pioneering maker spaces, dozens of energy incubators, universities, and 17 DOE National Laboratories, the Network is primed to create a sweeping portfolio of innovations to demonstrate the promise of additive manufacturing.

The Geothermal Prize is a series of four progressive competitions that harness the rapid advances that additive manufacturing can provide in tool design, fabrication, and functionality. It incentivizes innovators and entrepreneurs to discover new advanced manufacturing solutions. This rapid, scalable approach to prototype development not only provides cash prizes, but also engages America’s unique innovation ecosystem to help participants achieve their goals.

Eligible competitors include entrepreneurs, members of a team working within a company, university students and faculty, small business owners, researchers at DOE National Laboratories, or anyone based in the U.S. that has the desire to bring an impactful solution in this area to reality.  Participants will compete for cash prizes, as well as vouchers to leverage the capabilities and expertise of the American-Made Network. The combination of funding with the mentoring, training, and other services from the American-Made Network supports long-term success for participants and growth in U.S. manufacturing.

The Geothermal Prize is led by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) and Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), and is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on the American-Made Challenges platform. 

Please visit HERE for more information, including preliminary rules and how to get involved.