DOE holds $3 million contest to boost solar power manufacturing

The Department of Energy announced a new competition designed to encourage solar power manufacturers to develop new, transformative ideas into prototypes ready for industry testing.

The American-Made Solar Prize will offer a total of $3 million to various winners in three different contests designed to develop new products to be made in the United States. Competitors will have access to mentoring and other supportive resources through a network of national labs, incubators, investors and industry experts.

To win the final prize, participants must identify an impactful solution that addresses critical challenges related to American solar competitiveness, create a proof of concept, and secure a committed partner to test a prototype.

Competitors will also participate in demo days, where they will pitch their idea to a team of expert reviewers, who will evaluate competitors based on the quality of their solution and the progress made during the contest period.

The three contests include:

·      Ready! Contest (up to $50,000 prize per winner): Winners will be selected after identifying an impactful idea or solution addressing a critical need in America’s solar industry.

·      Set! Contest (up to $200,000 prize per winner): Competitors will work to substantially advance their technology solution toward a viable and promising proof of concept.

·      Go! Contest ($500,000 prize per winner): Competitors will work to substantially advance their solution from proof of concept to a refined prototype and find a partner to perform a pilot test of the prototype.

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