brushed metal background
Solar Prize Round 8 logo

Solar Prize Round 8

Fast-Track American Solar Innovation

The American-Made Solar Prize Round 8 is a multimillion-dollar prize competition designed to energize U.S. solar innovation through a series of contests that accelerate the entrepreneurial process from years to months. Competitors leverage the American-Made Network, our innovation engine of more than 475 organizations, including world-class experts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s 17 national labs, clean tech accelerators, incubators, universities, facilities, and more.


Structured for Success

The Solar Prize encourages the rapid development of innovative solar energy solutions capable of addressing the tough challenges facing the solar industry. Solar Prize competitors participate in three contests—the Ready!, Set!, and Go! Contests—to transform their ideas into reality in months, rather than years. Competitors have the chance to win part of more than $4.2 million in prizes to help them advance in the competition and accelerate the development of their solution.

  • Ready! Contest – Teams focus on innovative ideas that can be commercialized in 3 to 5 years and address a solar industry technology need, proving that they have developed a great team, a game-changing solution, and an achievable plan.
  • Set! Contest – Teams make progress in developing and demonstrating proofs-of-concept.
  • Go! Contest – Teams focus on demonstrating an effective prototype and identifying a pilot partner, proving that they have made substantial progress over the course of the contests.

Round 8 seeks hardware and software solutions alike. The prize invites anyone, individually or as a team, to transform a technology into an impactful product and business.

Get Started
Close up photo of a researcher working with solar equipment

JEDI Contest: Creating Space for Change

The Solar Prize Round 8 includes an optional additional challenge that focuses on advancing solar in underserved communities. Participants whose solutions advance solar in underserved communities have the chance to be considered for a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Contest and earn part of the $200,000 bonus cash prize!

Power Up Your Idea

For those who have a great idea but need a boost to take their innovation to the next level, the Solar Prize Round 8 offers the Power Up Contest. This contest is designed to support and advance new and diverse teams that have compelling applications but aren’t selected to advance to the Set! Contest. Up to 10 teams may be selected to split a $100,000 prize pool and participate in the Power Up Program where they will receive tailored business support.

This support will help them refine their technology development road map, improve their business plan, and validate their product/market fit.

The Power Up Program ends with the Power Up Pitch Competition where the Power Up teams can compete for a chance to win complimentary passes to an industry conference.

Connecting You to the Innovation Engine

The American-Made Network provides support to Solar Prize competitors throughout the competition and is comprised of national labs, incubators, investors, facilities, and seasoned industry mentors. The American-Made Network strengthens and scales the critical connections needed to grow new businesses, develop solutions, and sustain American innovation.

Join and Connect

Who can Compete?

Competitors are entrepreneurial individuals or teams legally residing or based in the United States. Competitors can be individuals of one or multiple organizations, students, university faculty members, small business owners, researchers, or anyone with the desire and drive to transform an idea into an impactful solution.

Sign up for updates on the Solar Prize Round 8 HeroX page, the official competition platform.

Solutions that Can Shape the Future of Solar

Are you a thinker, entrepreneur, or innovator? You belong here. Anyone with a groundbreaking technology can help transform the solar industry through the American-Made Solar Prize.

Ready for the challenge?