Solar Snapshot: 📓 Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition’s Class of 2024; Solar Data Bounty Prize Finalists

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Solar Energy Technologies Office


What's Inside: Solar Snapshot, the newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), shares recent announcements; upcoming events; connect the dots on solar energy campaign resources; and more.

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Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 41 seconds

What's New?

Stage 1 Finalists Announced for the Solar Data Bounty Prize

SETO announced the seven datasets that won Stage 1 of the American-Made Solar Data Bounty Prize, which is designed to increase the accessibility of high-quality time series datasets for photovoltaic (PV) systems. Each winning team received $5,000 and advanced to Stage 2 of the prize program, where they will compete for part of the $1.4 million prize pool.

solar data bounty prize

Meet the Solar District Cup Class of 2024

DOE announced the 56 teams from 51 schools that will participate in the Solar District Cup Class of 2024 for a full academic year. The Solar District Cup is a collegiate design competition that challenges student teams to design and model distributed energy systems for real-world use cases.


Upcoming Deadlines

Don't forget to participate in these funding opportunities, prizes, and solicitations:

Some Light 🌞 Reading

The Benefits of Powering Your Electric Vehicle (EV) with Solar Energy

Did you know that harnessing the power of the sun to charge your EV can save you money, benefit your local electric grid, and provide backup power to your home? Learn how you can power your EV using solar energy, the many benefits of doing so, and how DOE supports solar energy and EV partnerships.

Tackling Solar Siting Challenges with Innovative Tracking Technology

Not just any piece of land works for a large-scale solar array: it must be sunny, relatively flat, and close to transmission lines so it can be connected to the grid. These specific requirements can make siting solar arrays challenging. Learn how SETO awardee, Nevados Engineering, is helping overcome the challenges of solar array siting with their innovative solar trackers.

New Blog Series on the History and Clean Energy Impact of DOE Prizes

A new, four-part series walks through the history of DOE prizes, exploring why they first started using cash prizes to incentivize rapid innovation and how that innovation has shaped the renewable energy transition and influenced the clean energy startup revolution.

Boosting Building Efficiency in Unincorporated Norcross, Georgia

DOE’s Clean Energy to Communities (C2C) program is helping communities explore commercial rooftop solar among other renewable energy opportunities. Learn how C2C Expert Match helped unincorporated Norcross achieve their clean energy goals, analyzing 400 buildings for affordable retrofits and connecting the local utility and stakeholders to facilitate effective collaboration – all within a few months, and at no cost to the community.

C2C Peer-Learning Cohort Applications Open Now

Apply to a peer-learning cohort to help advance local clean energy goals. Peer-learning cohorts are multicommunity engagements that convene to exchange strategies and best practices, learn in a collaborative environment, and workshop policy or program proposals, action plans, or strategies to overcome challenges around a common clean energy transition topic. Learn more about open cohorts and apply by October 31.

c2c cohorts

New Round of Funding to Empower Energy-Burdened Communities

DOE launched Cohort 2 of their Communities Local Energy Action Program (LEAP), which supports efforts in disadvantaged communities and those with historical ties to fossil fuel industries to take direct control of their clean energy future.

New Investments in Commercial-scale Distributed Energy Systems

The Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations released a new $50 million funding opportunity to help the United States develop more reliable, resilient, and cost-effective energy systems to better support our rapidly changing electric grid and the growth of EVs, energy storage, and the electrification of buildings and industry. Concept papers are due by November 16.

Products & Publications

Upcoming Events

Workshop: 2023 Photovoltaic Systems

October 12 | 8 a.m. ET | Orlando, FL
Register for this day-long workshop about SETO’s PV systems durability research. Attend presentations, participate in guided discussions, and help generate ideas for future research.

Solar-thermal Fuels and Thermal Energy Storage via Concentrated Solar-thermal Energy Informational Webinar

October 16 | 1 p.m. ET
Register for this webinar to learn more about the Solar-thermal Fuels and Thermal Energy Storage via Concentrated Solar-thermal Energy funding opportunity.

EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) Informational Webinar

October 19 | 4 p.m. ET
The EnergyTech UP collegiate business plan competition is open to student and faculty competitors! Join this webinar to learn more about the $400,000+ available for students, $100,000 available for faculty, and the $25,000 SETO-funded bonus prize for students focused on developing business plans around solar technology

Connect the Dots on Solar Energy

SETO is connecting the dots on rooftop solar. Learn about the role of rooftop solar energy systems in the United States’ transition to a clean energy grid and how SETO is working to support American residents and companies join in the journey to a green energy future:

Follow along with our Connect the Dots content on social media and join the conversation using the hashtag #ConnectSolar

In Case You Missed It

Learn more about SETO or DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.