Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of the Ready! contest of the American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize. Launched in April 2020, the prize is designed to spur innovation using additive manufacturing to address challenges fundamental to operating in harsh geothermal environments.
The winners of the Ready! contest – the first in a series of four progressive competitions – were announced at the Geothermal Resources Council's Virtual 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo by Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
"Geothermal has the potential to play an important role in our energy future," said Simmons. "These projects will help unlock that potential through innovative approaches to additive manufacturing."
The Geothermal Manufacturing Prize offers participants a total of up to $3.25 million in cash prizes for technologies that harness the rapid advances that additive manufacturing can provide in tool design, fabrication, and functionality. 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.
The Ready! contest winners will split a $500,000 prize pool, and move on to round two, Set!, where they will demonstrate their design's promise to meet engineering and operational requirements. During the Set! contest, competitors are expected to make significant progress in putting together a team capable of building and testing a functioning prototype. Winners of the Set! contest will share a $1 million prize pool and move on to the Make! contest, as well as remain eligible for the final Geo! contest and the grand prizes.
The Geothermal Prize is led by the DOE's Geothermal Technologies Office and Advanced Manufacturing Office and is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the American-Made Challenges platform.