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U.S. Department of Energy Announces Solar Prize Winners

At Solar Power International, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Daniel R Simmons, announced the winners of the first round of the American-Made Solar Prize, a $3 million competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. As part of the prize, the two winning teams each received $500,000 in cash.

The winners, Phase3 Photovoltaics and Solar Inventions, faced an expert panel of industry judges at the solar industry’s largest conference. The competitors of Round 2 and the launch of Round 3 were also announced yesterday. Competitors can advance their solar technology innovations by leveraging a network consisting of DOE National Laboratories and other resources across the country.

Phase3 Photovoltaics (Portland, OR) – Prefabricated Solar Systems: This team developed a solution that integrates solar into factory-built homes. By incorporating solar cells in the manufacturing process, the team is able to provide their solar home solution at a substantially lower cost per watt, compared with traditional installation.

Solar Inventions (Atlanta, GA) – Configurable Current Cell: C3: This team created a new photovoltaic cell design that can help produce a more stable and reliable solar module. The team has effectively divided the cell into multiple sections without physically breaking it. This prevents hot spots and improves efficiency and safety.

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