American Made Solar Prize graphic.

The American-Made Solar Prize is a $5 million competition designed to support U.S. solar manufacturing and address challenges to rapid, equitable solar energy deployment by incentivizing hardware and software development. Competitors may be entrepreneurial students, professors, small-business owners, company staffers, national laboratory researchers, or anyone else based in the United States with a potentially marketable solar technology solution. This challenge requires competitors to make progress quickly, form private-sector partnerships, and secure investments to bring their ideas to life.

On June 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched Round 5 of the American-Made Solar Prize with a hardware track and a software track. In the first phase of the competition, entrepreneurial individuals and teams pitch an innovative idea that addresses a critical need in the solar industry and identify market demand for it. Those selected to advance to the second phase will design a proof of concept. In the third and final phase, selected individuals and teams will develop early-stage prototypes for industry testing.

Hardware track competitors can win up to $650,000 in cash and $150,000 in technical support vouchers redeemable at the DOE National Laboratories and other qualified fabrication facilities.


  • The Ready! Contest opened on June 15, 2021. Semifinalists will be announced in December 2021.
  • The Set! Contest will open in December 2021. Finalists will be announced in April 2022.
  • The Go! Contest will open in April 2022. The winners will be determined at the final demo day in September 2022.

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