U.S. Department of Energy

About the SunShot Prize

The Motivation

Despite unprecedented cost reductions for solar hardware over recent years, as much as 50% of the total price that Americans pay to plug-in their residential or small-commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems is related to non-hardware. Enabling dramatic reductions in non-hardware costs—or "soft cost"—of solar is now the greatest challenge to achieving cost-competitive solar by 2020.

The Goal

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the SunShot Prize offers a total of $10 million in cash awards to the first three teams that repeatedly demonstrate an average of $1 per watt (W) for plug-in price (i.e. for non-hardware related costs such as permitting, interconnection, and inspection).

The Prize

By setting an ambitious target, the SunShot Prize aims to spur novel public-private partnerships, original business models, and innovative approaches. By breaking a significant price barrier, the winners will demonstrate that solar energy is an affordable solution for millions of American families and businesses.

Cash awards for the winners of SunShot Prize:

  • First place – $7 million
  • Second place – $2 million
  • Third place – $1 million

Learn more about the SunShot Prize: Goals, Rules, Timeline, Resources, Registration.