***This webpage was updated on 8/10/23 and 9/15/2023 to reflect a deadline extension for Stage 1 submission materials and Stage 1 selections.***

Data scientist to the right of a PV field

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is funding the American-Made Solar Data Bounty Prize, a two-stage, $1.4 million prize designed to increase the accessibility of high-quality time series datasets for photovoltaic (PV) systems. These types of datasets can be used to build, train, and optimize models designed for PV system simulation, which can in turn provide more accurate performance estimates and better system designs. Improving the accuracy of PV system modeling lowers the risk of developing and operating those assets, which can attract more capital for deployment of PV power plants.

The Solar Data Bounty Prize shares a common goal with the PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative, incentivizing PV system owners to share their datasets so researchers can continue to develop and fine-tune modeling tools for solar applications.

The Prize invites owners of PV systems to submit at least five years of historical time series data at a minimum of 15-minute time resolution for one or two of their systems. On September 29, 2023 SETO announced the seven datasets that won Stage 1 of the Solar Data Bounty Prize, each receiving $5,000 and advancing to Stage 2 of the prize program. Winning datasets from Stage 2 will be shared on a publicly accessible database.


The American-Made Solar Data Bounty Prize was open to U.S.-based PV system owners and entities authorized to share data from PV systems. These owners were invited to submit at least five years of historical time series data at a minimum of 15-minute time resolution for one or two of their systems. Submissions will be scored using a rubric to reflect data quality and quantity. Datasets collected through this prize are meant to assist commercial and academic research and development efforts seeking to improve the accuracy of PV system modeling, and thus lower the risk associated with developing and operating those assets.

The competition is comprised of two stages:

  • Stage 1: Each competitor submitted time series metadata on their system of choice along with at least one month of solar irradiance data from that system, which will be made publicly available. Teams could choose to compete in one or both of two tracks: Track A for medium-sized systems (100-5,000 kWdc) or Track B for larger systems (> 5,000 kWdc). The top competitors won $5,000 and an invitation to compete in Stage 2.
  • Stage 2: The winners from Stage 1 will upload their time series datasets, which will be analyzed by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and scored according to a pre-defined rubric. Grand prizes for winning datasets will range from $80,000 to $130,000. All Stage 2 participants will also be invited to participate in the PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative.

The winning datasets and respective metadata will be shared on a publicly accessible database, so that researchers and other solar stakeholders can use it for model development, validation, and evaluation. Bonus prizes totaling up to $200,000 will be given to four prize winners who agree to update their datasets with new data on an annual basis for the next six years.


  • Stage 1
    • The competition launched on June 27, 2023.
    • An informational webinar was held on July 11, 2023. Watch the recording.
    • Stage 1 submission materials were due September 6, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET.
    • Stage 1 winners were announced on September 29, 2023.
  • Stage 2
    • Stage 2 opens October 4, 2023.
    • A technical webinar, open to Stage 1 winners, is scheduled for October 17, 2023.
    • The Stage 2 Intent-to-Compete Submission Package deadline is October 18, 2023.
    • Stage 2 winners and runners-up are expected to be announced in December 2023.

Stage 1 Winners

The listed locations correspond to the headquarters of the winning entities and not necessarily the PV systems.

Track A: Medium-sized Systems 

  • Island Way Technology, LLC (Makawao, Hawaii)
  • Namaste Solar Electric, Inc. (Denver, Colorado)
  • Silicon Ranch Corporation (Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Wexus Technologies Inc. (Colusa, California)

Track B: Large-sized Systems

  • PPL Corporation (Lexington, Kentucky)
  • Silicon Ranch Corporation (Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Southern Power Company (Birmingham, Alabama)

Additional Information

The American-Made Solar Data Bounty Prize is a part of the American-Made Challenges and is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.