On September 12, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the winners in two prize competitions: the American-Made Solar Prize Round 6 and the American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize. DOE announced the winners at the RE+ clean energy trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
American-Made Solar Prize Round 6
After a live demo day in which finalist teams pitched their solutions to a panel of judges, DOE announced that two teams each received $500,000 for their early-stage innovations addressing challenges to the rapid, equitable solar energy deployment. One of those winners was also awarded the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Contest prize of $50,000 for its role in expanding solar access to underserved communities. The winners are:
- ReJoule’s Second-Life Solar (Signal Hill, CA) – This team is developing a fast, new method for testing the health of decommissioned electric vehicle batteries and using these batteries to develop an integrated solution for storing solar power and dispatching it at peak hours. This allows for fast screening of used batteries and certification for use in grid scale storage of solar energy. JEDI Contest Winner.
- Latimer Controls (Boulder, CO) – This team is developing an intelligent control software that enables utility-scale photovoltaics (PV) to provide power reliably and on demand. This will replace grid reliance on fossil fuels, drive higher profitability for PV operators, and generate revenue increases for solar asset owners with low capital cost.
American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize
DOE also selected the winners of the American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize, which is designed to increase adoption of the state-of-the-art in net load forecasting. Competitors submitted 28 consecutive day-ahead forecasts for four substations around the country. The forecasts were compared to benchmark models using the DOE-funded Solar Forecast Arbiter platform.
Three winners received cash prizes in the amounts of $200,000 (first place), $150,000 (second place) and $100,000 (third place). Three runners-up received $50,000 each.
- First Place: Reliable Autonomy (Basking Ridge, NJ)
- Second Place: Shifted Energy (Honolulu, HI)
- Third Place: Teraton Partners HQ (San Francisco, CA)
- Runner-up: Leaptran (San Antonio, TX)
- Runner-up: Linear Intelligence LLC (Apex, NC)
- Runner-up: Innowatts Team (Houston, TX)