DOE Awards Third Round Champions in its $3 Million Competition to Bring Solar Hardware Technology Innovations to Market Faster

Dec 14, 2020


The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the winners of the third round of the $3 million American-Made Solar Prize competition. The two winning teams will each receive $500,000 in cash and $75,000 in vouchers. Round three winning teams include Maxout Renewables from Livermore, California, who developed an appliance powered by a fly-wheel that can turn a residential solar installation into a microgrid, and Wattch, Inc. from Atlanta, Georgia, who created a solar monitoring platform to increase operational efficiency for commercial and industrial photovoltaic (PV) plants.


The competition has been in place since 2018 and has awarded a total of $11 million to 80 teams over the years to solve challenges in the solar industry. The American-Made Solar Prize is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the Solar Energy Technologies Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.


The competition is now moving forward to the fourth round, where teams will compete for up to $100,000 in cash rewards plus $75,000 in vouchers. Twenty teams from over 130 submissions were selected to participate in round four: 3 teams are working towards developing solutions in concentrating solar-thermal power, there are 15 teams looking to solve problems in photovoltaics, and 2 teams that are pursuing projects in systems integration. Fourth round winners will be determined at the final demo day on September 21, 2021.


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