The American-Made Geothermal Manufacturing Prize (Geothermal Prize) is designed to spur innovation and address manufacturing challenges fundamental to operating in harsh geothermal environments. This prize further supports the ability of the geothermal industry to reach the target of 60 GWe of geothermal capacity by 2050 as outlined in the recently released GeoVision study .
As part of the American-Made Challenges series, the Geothermal Prize unites the world’s best-in-class research base with the unparalleled entrepreneurial support system of the American-Made Network. Consisting of pioneering maker spaces, dozens of energy incubators, universities, and 17 Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories, the Network is primed to create a sweeping portfolio of innovations to demonstrate the promise of additive manufacturing.
Competitors in the Ready!, Set!, Make!, and Geo! Contests participate in four escalating challenges. The contests provide a total of $4.65 million in incentives—$3.25 million in cash prizes, $1 million in vouchers, and $400,000 in field testing costs—to incentivize driving additively manufactured geothermal innovations from concept to prototype testing in two years through an accelerated schedule.
The Ready!, Set!, Make!, and Geo! Contests will fast-track efforts to identify, develop, and test disruptive AM solutions to meet geothermal industry needs. Each stage will include a contest period when participants will work to rapidly advance their solutions. For the Set! Contest, DOE invites anyone, individually or as a team, to compete to transform a design solution into prototype reality. However, winning the Set! Contest is required to compete in the Make! and Geo! Contests.
Ready! Contest (Concept Development): The 15 Ready! Contest winners were announced on October 18, 2020, splitting a $500,000 cash prize pool. Ready! Contest winners will participate in a virtual design for additive manufacturing workshop with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) experts in November 2020 as well as receive design feedback from MDF experts in preparation of their Set! Contest submissions.
Set! Contest (Design): This is the contest for which submissions are open until February 17.
* Competitors will work to substantially advance their AM-focused geothermal tool, component, or equipment concept by demonstrating their design’s promise in meeting engineering and operational requirements outlined by the team. Additionally, it is expected that competitors make significant progress in teaming and partnerships capable of building and testing a functioning prototype.
* Set! Contest competitors will be evaluated by a panel of experts from industry, national labs, and government. Winners will receive up to $200,000 in cash and $75,000 in vouchers that may be redeemed at eligible American-Made Network organizations, as well as national labs and qualified fabrication facilities within the American-Made Network, to further develop their solution.
Make! Contest (Prototype): Competitors will fabricate AM prototypes based on their Set! design at a qualified fabrication facility. Make! Contest competitors will be evaluated by a panel of experts during a live demo day event, using—in part—engineering and technical performance criteria previously submitted by each team. Winners will receive up to $250,000 in cash and an additional $50,000 in vouchers redeemable with preselected Power Connectors, as well as national labs and qualified fabrication facilities.
Geo! Contest (Test): Competitors will manufacture an advanced functional prototype with all AM components fully incorporated. Testing will use tool, component, or equipment-specific performance criteria relevant for geothermal environments submitted with the Geo! Contest application package. Overall contest winners will be chosen by a panel of experts during a live demo day event and receive $500,000 in cash, as well as up to $200,000 in field-testing costs covered for eligible teams.