The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) funds and partners with numerous solar-focused American-Made Challenges. Through these challenges, innovators have the chance to win cash prizes and vouchers for ideas that advance U.S. leadership in the energy industry. The competitions also offer cash incentives and recognition for Connectors who support the program’s mission and competitors. These challenges are administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize
The American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize is a $600,000 prize competition designed to increase adoption of the state-of-the-art in net load forecasting by incentivizing forecast providers to demonstrate the quality and performance of their probabilistic forecasting tools to the larger forecasting industry.
American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize
The American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize is a $3 million prize competition designed to accelerate the growth of the U.S. perovskite industry and support the rapid development of solar cells and modules that use perovskite materials. Through two contests, established perovskite researchers launch a company and move toward commercialization in under a year.
American-Made Inclusive Solar Outreach Awards
The American-Made Inclusive Solar Outreach Awards are designed to recognize effective and inclusive solar industry communications and marketing campaigns. The goal of the Inclusive Solar Outreach Awards is to gather best practices in engaging diverse and/or underrepresented communities about solar energy and its benefits and to share those best practices with others.
American-Made Solar Desalination Prize
The Solar Desalination Prize is a multi-stage prize competition designed to accelerate the development of low-cost desalination systems that use solar-thermal power to produce clean drinking water from saltwater. Each stage of the competition will have increasing prize amounts, totaling millions of dollars.
American-Made Solar Forecasting Prize
The American-Made Solar Forecasting Prize is designed to better enable solar industry stakeholders with state-of-the-art solar forecasting capabilities. This prize makes use of the Solar Forecast Arbiter, an open platform developed by the University of Arizona, to allow for the transparent, rigorous, and consistent analysis and evaluation of solar forecasts.
American-Made Solar Prize
The American-Made Solar Prize is a multi-million prize competition designed to energize U.S. solar manufacturing through a series of contests and the development of a diverse and powerful support network that leverages national laboratories, energy incubators, and other resources across the country.
The Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar
The Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar (The Sunny Awards) is a $100,000 prize competition that recognizes community solar projects and programs that employ or develop best practices to increase equitable access to the meaningful benefits of community solar for subscribers and their communities.
American-Made SolarAPP+ Prize
The American-Made SolarAPP+ Prize is a $1 million competition designed to incentivize local governments to adopt the automated permitting software tool Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+) and lower the cost of adoption.
Community Power Accelerator Prize
The Community Power Accelerator Prize: Accessing Capital to Deploy Equitable Community Solar is a $10 million prize competition designed to fast-track the efforts of new, emerging, and expanding solar developers and co-developers to learn, participate, and grow their operations to support multiple successful community solar projects.
Other Prizes Co-Sponsored by SETO
EnergyTech University Prize
Sponsored by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) in partnership with SETO, the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) is a collegiate competition challenging multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages national laboratory-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. EnergyTech UP awards cash prizes to teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization.
Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize
Sponsored by DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity in partnership with SETO, the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize aims to fund organizations for ongoing and/or proposed activities related to climate and clean energy that support, build trust, and strengthen relationships and partnerships with disadvantaged communities. Specifically, this prize seeks to enable and enhance business and technology incubation, acceleration, and other community-based and university-based entrepreneurship and innovation in climate and clean energy technologies.