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NREL Announces American-Made Solar Prize Challenge
February 13, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are working together to launch the first prize challenge associated with the American-Made Challenges.

The American-Made Solar Prize (Solar Prize):
• Accelerates the development of technologies and solutions that will advance the solar industry;
• Enables rapid prototyping of ground-breaking solar solutions and prove their viability;
• Provides connections to a network of solar industry experts, fabricators, and developers; and
• Connects entrepreneurs with the investor community to help solar businesses and technical solutions scale.

The challenge will be comprised of three stages.

Ideation & Network Activation
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.

Prototyping, Partnering & Iteration
The Solar Prize will enable rapid proof-of-concept development, testing, and validation. This will be accomplished by connecting participating teams with network experts that can take technical solutions to the next level, providing seed funding to accelerate the development of these solutions, and facilitate real-time customer/investor feedback to guide iterations and improve innovation, market value, and manufacturing readiness.

Incubation, Scaling, Manufacturing
The Solar Prize will help teams develop strategic and business plans, learn about investment and funding instruments, and assist teams in laying successful pathways to grow their business. Focus will be placed on utilizing the network of experts and investors to help guide decisions on product and business scaling. And, of course, prize money will be awarded to winning teams!

For detailed information about the challenge, visit the Solar Prize website

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