American-Made Challenges Solar Prize Round 5

Software Track

The fifth round of the Solar Prize is designed to spur more solar innovation than ever before by splitting participants into two separate technology-focused tracks. The Solar Prize Round 5 Software Track is a software prize that offers $1.6 million in cash prizes over three progressive contests to competitors who are accelerating the development, validation, and commercialization of new innovative solar software solutions that increase the competitiveness of the U.S. solar industry.

American-Made Solar Prize Logo Female researcher working in a laboratory, observing equipment while conducting an experiment.

Why a Software Track?

The Solar Prize has always placed an emphasis on manufacturing solar innovation in the United States. After four successful rounds focusing primarily on tangible technologies, the prize administrators decided to split Round 5 into two tracks—the Hardware Track and the Software Track. Both follow the same prize structure but allow competitors to stay in different lanes to bring both hardware and software products closer to market.

If your solar innovation focuses on communications, computation, data systems, information technology, or business models with a software focus, the Software Track is for you. If your solution is a hardware technology, we encourage you to compete in the Hardware Track. Learn more by viewing the official Software Track rules.

View the Software Track Rules

A Focus on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Software Track also offers participants the option to compete for a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Contest, which offers additional cash prizes for technologies that consider and incorporate environmental justice principles. This optional element asks competitors to develop solutions that enable underserved communities to overcome systemic barriers to solar deployment, with an additional prize pool of $300,000 available to those who successfully complete this challenge.

Learn more about the JEDI Contest in the official Software Track rules.

View the Software Track Rules

The Solar Prize Contests

The Solar Prize encourages the rapid development of new 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 concepts and then early-stage prototypes ready for industry testing.

The Software Track offers $1.6 million in cash prizes, plus additional support vouchers, the JEDI Contest, and connections to national laboratories and industry resources.

Join the Challenge
Graphic of the American-Made Challenges Ready, Set, Go framework; Make a plan, design a proof of concept, develop prototype and identify pilot partner.

The American-Made Network

The American-Made Network expands throughout the competition and increasingly generates more connections for entrepreneurs and supports their success

The American-Made Network provides support to competitors throughout the competition and is composed 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.

Learn More and Connect

Round 5 Important Dates

All dates are subject to change including contest openings, deadlines, and announcements.

Sign up for updates on the Software Track HeroX page.

Ready for the Challenge?

If you’re ready to move your solar technology closer to its market-ready potential, the Solar Prize Round 5 Software Track can help you take the next step.