Join Round 8 of the American-Made Solar Prize today!

By Oliver Townsend Jun 18, 2024
Apply for the American-Made Solar Prize Round 8.jpegOrginal image from:

The American-Made Solar Prize Round 8 is a groundbreaking competition aimed at fostering innovation in U.S. solar hardware and software technologies while addressing key challenges to widespread solar energy deployment. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) launched the program on June 14, 2024, opening doors for individuals and entities across the United States with viable solar solutions to participate. Whether you’re a student, professor, small business owner, or researcher, this competition provides a platform for you to showcase your innovative ideas and contribute to the advancement of solar energy technologies.

Competition Details

The American-Made Solar Prize Round 8 focuses on two main categories: hardware and software technologies. Hardware innovations must be capable of being manufactured in the United States, while software innovations should target non-hardware costs associated with solar energy, such as customer acquisition, financing, and grid integration. Participants will engage in three sequential contests – Ready!, Set!, and Go! – as they progress from concept development to product realization. Winners stand to receive up to $700,000 in cash prizes and $150,000 in technical support vouchers throughout the competition.

Eligibility and Opportunities

The competition is open to a wide range of innovators, including students, professors, small business owners, and researchers. Participants will have access to the American-Made Network, a valuable resource for finding partners and testing facilities to accelerate their progress. Additionally, competitors can opt to participate in the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Contest, where they can demonstrate how their solutions address barriers faced by underserved communities and align with JEDI goals.

For those who need additional support to bring their ideas to fruition, the Solar Prize Round 8 offers the Power Up Contest. This initiative aims to assist new and diverse teams with promising applications that may not have advanced to the Set! Contest. Up to 10 teams will be selected to receive a share of the $100,000 prize pool and tailored business support to further develop their concepts.

Stages of Competition

Ready! Contest

Twenty winners will each receive $50,000 by pitching innovative solutions addressing critical needs in the solar industry and demonstrating market demand.

Set! Contest

Ten winners will be awarded $100,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in vouchers by designing hardware proof of concepts or minimum viable software products.

Go! Contest

Two winners will receive $500,000 in cash prizes and $75,000 in vouchers by developing early-stage hardware prototypes or customer-validated software products.

Additional contests like the JEDI Contest and Power Up Contest offer further opportunities for participants to showcase their commitment to equity and diversity in the solar industry while receiving support to enhance their innovations.


The American-Made Solar Prize Round 8 is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for innovators to contribute to the advancement of solar energy technologies in the United States. By participating in this competition, individuals and entities can drive innovation, address key challenges in the solar industry, and work towards a more sustainable and equitable energy future. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this transformative initiative and make a lasting impact on the solar energy landscape.

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