The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a coming $3-million prize competition to reenergize innovation in US solar manufacturing. The American Made Solar Prize is in addition to total DOE funding of up to $400 million for solar projects and technologies in 2017.
The Solar Prize will identify innovative concepts with direct impact on the energy industry by engaging the public and industry experts to generate ideas for solving tough technical problems facing the solar industry. The ideation step will enable the public to submit creative ideas and vote on these ideas. Based on this community input, teams will form to develop solutions for these issues. Teams will be connected with a network of industry experts, developers, fabricators, incubators, and potential investors to help accelerate their business models and technical solutions.
The prize is intended to lower barriers American innovators face in reaching manufacturing scale by accelerating the cycles of learning, while helping to create partnerships that connect entrepreneurs to the private sector and the network of DOE’s national laboratories.
This program is funded by DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; the two will launch the program soon.