Solar Competition Is Putting $3 Million Behind Innovation in Manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) yesterday launched the American-Made Solar Prize competition with a focus on supporting innovative ideas for solar industry manufacturing.

The contest includes a series of three prize rounds designed to develop new products to be made in the U.S. Competitors will have access to mentoring and other supportive resources through a network of national labs, incubators, investors, and industry experts.

“We share this administration’s desire for strong American solar manufacturing, and this prize competition is a good way to spur innovative ideas,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in a statement. “The U.S. solar industry is a leader in entrepreneurship and ingenuity, and we support efforts like these that can pave the way to competitiveness for American companies.”

Competitors will provide a proof of concept and secure a partner for testing a prototype, as well as participate in demo days, where they will pitch their ideas to a team of experts.

DOE said that $3 million in funding from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will be distributed through the following contests:

  • Ready! — up to $50,000 prize per winner: identify an idea or solution addressing a critical need in the solar industry
  • Set! — up to $200,000 prize per winner: advance the technology solution toward a proof of concept
  • Go! — $500,000 prize per winner: Produce a prototype and find a testing partner

Submission are due Oct. 5.

Lead image credit: CC0 Creative Commons | Pixabay

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