Catalyst solar prize competition announces 5 winners



The five winning Catalyst prize competitors pose with their award checks at Demo Day in San Francisco

Five solar start-up companies were named winners at SunShot Catalyst prize competition Demo Day on May 14 in San Francisco. The winners -- Gridmates, PVComplete, Savenia Solar Ratings, Solar Site Design, and UtilityAPI -- each took home $30,000 prizes to help advance their early-stage solutions towards commercialization. The winners were chosen out of 17 finalist start-ups who demonstrated their solar energy software solutions before a packed house and a panel of esteemed judges. Winners are eligible to receive up to $70,000 each in future funding with the goal of introducing their products to the marketplace in the coming months.

Shared solar is positioned for growth
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report that paints a bright picture for the future of shared solar. According to the report, “Shared Solar: Current Landscape, Market Potential, and the Impact of Federal Securities Regulation,” 49% of households and 48% of businesses are unable to host photovoltaic (PV) solar systems for a variety of reasons. However, shared solar models, which allow multiple customers to own or lease a portion of a solar array, have the potential to double the overall distributed solar market in the United States. While shared solar models have a myriad of benefits, there are also challenges.

Work at the SunShot Initiative
SunShot is hiring a federal technology manager for its Technology to Market team. This individual will be responsible for evaluating the progress of research tasks towards meeting technical and programmatic objectives; conducting periodic reviews, including site visits, to examine technical and administrative issues affecting execution of approved plans; and making recommendations for improvements in research content. The Technology to Market team manages SunShot’s successful Incubator funding program. Read the job description and apply today.

SunShot Funded Work Leads to New IEEE Testing Procedures
A new amendment, 1547.1a, was recently issued to standardize the IEEE inverter testing protocols and procedures to meet three advanced inverter functionalities – regulating voltage, riding through abnormalities of grid voltage, and providing modulated power output in response to abnormal grid frequency. It also created two new type tests: a response to abnormal frequency conditions, and voltage regulation. The amendment is significant in that advanced inverter functionality will bring tremendous benefits to maintaining the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid, allowing high penetration of solar to be safely and cost effectively integrated in the nation’s power system. The technical work that forms the basis of the amendment was funded by SunShot Initiative’s Systems Integration program.