Today, the SunShot Initiative announced the winners of the “Hit Me with Your SunShot” solar energy photo contest. SunShot encouraged people to submit their photos in July and August for the chance to win $2,500 in prizes. Photos were accepted in several categories seen below. All submissions were judged by Simon Edelman, Chief Creative Officer for the Department of Energy, and Dennis Schroeder, a photographer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado who is a solar photography expert.
Grand Prize Winner
Massive heliostats at sunrise at the Crescent Dunes concentrating solar power plant in Tonopah, Nevada. The 110 megawatt plant uses heliostats to reflect sunlight onto a receiver when the sun is shining. The resulting energy that’s generated can be stored for use 24 hours a day to power 75,000 homes. The heliostats are pictured here stowed in a horizontal position overnight. Photo by Ivan Boden.
Solar and Weather Category Winner
Solar PV panels on top of the mountains in Colorado during winter. A dusting of snow has little impact on solar panels because the wind can easily blow it off, but snow can be more problematic for electricity generation with heavy accumulation. Photo by Carlo Altamirano.
Solar Installers and Installation Category Winner
PV panels reflect off of the sunglasses of a GRID Alternatives volunteer as she installs solar in the Inland Empire of California. Photo by GRID Alternatives.
Concentrating Solar Power Category Winner
The last rays of sunlight are reflecting off heliostats at the Crescent Dunes concentrating solar power plant in Tonopah, Nevada. Several of them are still in their vertical operating position, reflecting the last of the day’s sunlight onto a receiver to generate electricity, while others are pointing upwards in their stow position. This aerial photo was taken with a drone. Photo by Ivan Boden.
Solar Hardware and Power Electronics Category Winner
A worker checks an inverter at the 2 megawatt CoServ Solar Station in Krugerville, Texas. The 16-acre site was previously home to a peanut farm. Photo by Ken Oltmann/CoServ.
University Research Category Winner
Researchers mount a PV module for performance testing in Fraunhofer CSE’s solar simulator dark tunnel. Photo by Fraunhofer CSE.
Utility Scale Category Winner
Solar panels fade out to the horizon at this 100 megawatt site in Iron County, Utah, which can power up to 16,400 homes. The site, which came online in 2016, is designed using JA Solar modules, NexTracker single axis trackers, and TMEiC inverters. Photo by Reegan Moen.
Community Solar Category Winner
This SunPower by E2 Solar installation for Habitat for Humanity in Harwich, MA is an example of a community solar project that contributes to Habitat's mission of providing homes that are affordable to own and power. Community solar projects allow people who don’t own their rooftops to benefit from solar energy, enabling multiple people to invest in solar together. Photo by Chris Wingard.
The SunShot Initiative thanks everyone who submitted their photos to the contest. View all 560 eligible submissions on the Energy Department’s Flickr page. These photos are now part of the public domain and are available for use by everyone. If you intend to use the photos, please give credit to the photographer in your caption.