Department of Energy SunShot 1st Hackathon


| Reading time 1 minute

This week at the SunShot Grand Challenge Summit in Anaheim, the SunShot Initiative hosted its first ever Hackathon. The event featured 6 teams putting together apps with data provided by Geostellar, NREL, Sun Number, Solar Nexus and Genability.

With just 24 hours, the hackers were told to build an app that focused on 1 of 3 themes:

  • Make going solar fun.

  • Make going solar cheaper.

  • Incorporate social media into the solar process (either buying solar or post install).

I was honored to judge the final projects alongside Victor Kane (Manager at the SunShot Initiative) and Eric Alderman (CEO of SolarNexus).

Hackathon Participants

After an hour of presentations, the grand prize went to Greener, an app that allows individuals shopping for a new home to see the potential solar savings of various homes and compare.

Summary of the Apps:

  • Greener. Chrome extension that adds a pre-solar and post-solar savings estimate to your Zillow search. Before you buy a house, you’ll know the potential savings if you add solar.

  • Optimizyer. A client library that allows solar developers to compare various microinverters, modules and string inverters for the optimal system design.

  • EiValue. An app for home appraisers to use when valuing a home for a potential resell. The app will compare other solar homes in the neighborhood, as well as a cash flow analysis to accurately appraise the system when the home is being sold.

  • SunFun. A Facebook app to compare solar savings with your social network and compete for points.

  • LeaseX. Platform to streamline the lease transfer process when buying or selling a home that already has a leased solar system on it.

  • Spark. A social network of individuals who have gone solar or installed an energy efficiency project. Share ideas and reviews.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the event and we look forward to seeing how these projects progress.

Also in Industry

Former CPUC Member Thoughts on Net Energy Metering Programs

By Eric Danziger | Jan 23, 2014

Last week, Mark Ferron, former executive with Deutsche Bank and Salomon Brothers stepped down from his post with the California Public Utility Commission to focus on his battle with prostate cancer.  As an epilogue to his almost...

Obama's Memorandum on Energy Management

By Eric Danziger | Dec 9, 2013

Late last week, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing federal agencies to derive at least 20% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020.  That’s double the current level!  The President included some necessary steps and...

DOE Releases SunShot 9 Funding Opportunity

By Eric Danziger | Nov 20, 2013

The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative has just released the next funding opportunity, SunShot 9.  SunShot 9 will provide funding (non-dilutive capital) to early-stage companies who can decrease the soft costs of solar.  The DOE is looking for...

David Merkoski on the New Smart Grid Product

By Eric Danziger | Oct 9, 2013

Over the past few years utilities have been striving to bring the outdated infrastructure of the grid into the big data world we live in today where consumer data can be analyzed and turned into insight.  Their...