DOE plans $3 million solar manufacturing competition

June 10–The United States Department of Energy has launched a competition that is aiming to renew American solar manufacturing.

The contest, American-Made Solar Prize, will offer a total of $3 million to entrepreneurs, companies, students, business owners or researchers to get their ideas from a concept phase to prototypes ready for testing.

“The Administration is fully committed to strengthening America’s manufacturing competitiveness,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in a recent news release.

“The Solar Prize brings together the nation’s best-in-class research resources, unparalleled entrepreneurial support system, and competitive, American spirit to create new innovations primed for private investment,” Perry added.

Participants must be U.S. based and will compete through three individual contests that are designed to develop new products.

During the process, mentoring will be available through national labs, incubators, investors and experts.

“We share this administration’s desire for strong American solar manufacturing, and this prize competition is a good way to spur innovative ideas,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association in the release.

“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,” she said.

To win, participants will tackle challenges that face the American solar industry through a proof of concept, during demonstration days in front of experts and through securing a partner to help test prototypes.

The first contest, the Ready! Contest, will award up to $50,000 per winners who identify an impactful idea or a solution to critical needs in the nation’s solar industry.

The second contest, the Set! Contest, will award up to $200,000 per winner to participants who best advance their solutions towards a proof of concept.

The third contest, the Go! Contest, will award $500,000 per winner to participants who best move forward with their proof of concept and build a refined prototype and find a partner to test said prototype.

Applications to the contest must be completed by Oct. 5, 2018.

More information is available at

This article provided by NewsEdge.