American-Made Challenges

Solar Forecasting Prize

The American-Made Solar Forecasting Prize is designed to better enable solar industry stakeholders with state-of-the-art solar forecasting capabilities. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, this prize makes use of the Solar Forecast Arbiter, an open platform developed by the University of Arizona, to allow for the transparent, rigorous, and consistent analysis and evaluation of solar forecasts.


Increasing Awareness of State-of-the-Art in Solar Forecasting


Probabilistic forecasts are being recognized as a critical tool for cost-effective reserve allocation and unit scheduling. Considering a future with high-penetration weather-bound renewable energy generation is becoming increasingly important. But today, deployment and integration of these forecasts into energy management systems has not been widely adopted.


Additionally, independent system operators agree that solar forecasting is an important part of system operations, and forecasting becomes even more important as the fraction of variable weather-dependent generation increases.


The Solar Forecasting Prize aims to address this by:


  • Increasing stakeholder awareness of the state of the art in solar forecasting.
  • Incentivizing the participation of a broad range of competitors from the solar forecasting industry and research and development space.
  • Growing industry knowledge of the Solar Forecast Arbiter (SFA) platform and its potential.
  • Promoting the adoption of uniform and transparent metrics and specifications for solar forecasts using SFA (or similar platforms) by forecast end-users.
  • Identifying algorithms that perform better than a baseline probabilistic forecast.

Earn Cash Prizes for Successful Solar Forecasting

Up to five teams will win $50,000 each in cash prizes for showcasing the best performing algorithm and the strongest commercialization plan.


Five runner-up teams will also have the chance to earn $25,000 in cash prizes.


What Is the Solar Forecast Arbiter?

The Solar Forecast Arbiter (SFA) is an open forecasting platform developed by the University of Arizona. It allows for the transparent, rigorous, and consistent analysis and evaluation of solar forecasts by end-users.


Solar Forecasting Prize Important Dates


  • Prize Announcement: September 2021
  • Prize Opens: October 25, 2021 (anticipated)
  • HeroX Submission Deadline and SFA Registration Deadline: December 2021 (anticipated)
  • Submission of Forecasts in SFA: January 2022 (anticipated)
  • Winner Announcement: February 2022 (anticipated)

Dates are forthcoming and subject to change. Final dates will be posted here and on the HeroX site.

Sign up for updates on our HeroX challenge page.



Ready for the Challenge?


If you’re ready to enable solar industry stakeholders with state-of-the-art forecasting capabilities, the Solar Forecasting Prize can help position you for success.