American-Made Challenges


High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize

Propose new HVDC technology solutions to strengthen the U.S. energy grid.

This challenge is closed

Winner Announcement

This challenge is closed



High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Electricity launched the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize to incentivize new technology solutions to improve the performance and resilience of the U.S. energy grid. 

The HVDC Prize invites electrical and industrial engineers, computer scientists, and power electronics researchers to develop new power and energy system solutions to improve renewable distributed generation, transmission to population centers, and integration with the U.S. energy grid. 

The HVDC Prize includes a total prize pool of $200k in cash—up to four winning teams will receive $50k each.

For more information, please review the HVDC Prize Official Rules.

HVDC Technology Background

HVDC technologies provide an alternative electrical transmission system to the conventional alternating current systems. This prize aims to leverage HVDC systems to increase the power grid’s capacity to receive, transmit, and deliver a large amount of energy. Additionally, HVDC technologies are more cost-effective compared to conventional systems for longer transmission distances. HVDC transmission can improve grid resilience, security, and operation flexibility while integrating renewable energy transmission into the existing grid to reach the nation’s goal of carbon neutrality. 

Competitor Eligibility

The HVDC Prize is open to private entities (for-profits and non-profits), non-federal government entities such as states, counties, tribes, municipalities, and academic institutions in the U.S. 

For complete eligibility requirements, please review the HVDC Prize Official Rules.



Please review the official rules for the complete application process and instructions for competing.

If you have any questions, please subscribe by using the contact feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at


Challenge Updates

Congratulations to the HVDC Prize Winners!

Sept. 7, 2023, 8:30 a.m. PDT by Prize Administrator

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Office of Electricity (OE) announced the four winners of the American-Made High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize. The winning teams proposed innovative solutions with strong potential to help close the technology gaps that hinder HVDC deployment in the United States, strengthening the resiliency and flexibility of the nation’s grid.


The following teams have each been awarded $50,000 in cash prizes for their efforts.

Dr. Richard Zhang, Virginia Tech — Multi-Functional Intelligent Voltage-Source-Converter HVDC  
This submission aims to develop a multi-functional, intelligent voltage-source-converter which will significantly reduce engineering costs and time in the design, test, and commission phases for commercial HVDC projects. The proposed design also ensures that operations are controlled, minimizing energy product losses caused by unstable conditions.

SixPoint Materials, Inc. — Hybrid HVDC Breaker Using GaN Semiconductor  
This team is developing a gallium nitride (GaN) photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) for hybrid HVDC circuit breakers, therefore decreasing operational costs and increasing response time and efficiency. These efforts will help meet the need of rapidly growing renewable powerplants that require reliable, multi‐terminal HVDC transmission systems.

University of South Florida — Generalized Dynamic Circuit Model Design for HVDC  
This submission provided a unified modeling framework for HVDCs that enables three types of analysis simultaneously: stability, harmonics, and ferroresonance. To meet this goal, this team developed dynamic circuit representations for HVDC converters with both DC and AC ports, accelerating HVDC system studies in the planning and design stages. 

Drexel University — Proactive Solid State Circuit Breaker for HVDC System Protection 
This submission aims to minimize power outages and provide more reliable protections for DC systems through the development of a proactive solid state circuit breaker (P-SSCB). Based on the design's modularity, the P-SSCB can be further extended to higher voltage and higher current applications.


Thank you to all of the competitors for your participation!

Prize Submissions Due TOMORROW!

June 6, 2023, 8 a.m. PDT by Prize Administrator

Do you have innovative ideas to develop new power and energy system solutions that strengthen the U.S. energy grid? We want to hear about them! 

High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize submissions are due tomorrow, June 7, at 5 p.m. ET. Find the Submission Template in the Resources tab and answers to any lingering questions in the FAQ tab.

We look forward to reviewing your submissions! 

High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize Closes in One Week

May 31, 2023, 10:57 a.m. PDT by Prize Administrator

Hey, Competitors! Don’t forget that the submission deadline for the High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize closes in one week on June 7 at 5 p.m. ET. 

Access the High-Voltage Direct Current Submission Template and read the Official Prize Rules in the Resources tab.

HVDC Prize Submission Deadline is Just Around the Corner

May 23, 2023, 9 a.m. PDT by Prize Administrator

Before you submit your prize application, we recommend you:

  • Take a look at the Official Prize Rules to review the eligibility requirements and submission details
  • Watch the one of the Informational Webinars for more details on the prize and answers from the live Q&A (April 18 Webinar or April 27 Webinar)
  • Review the FAQ section for answers to any lingering questions you may have

We can’t wait to review your submission!

Watch the High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize supplemental webinars hosted by EFN!

May 8, 2023, 6 a.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

Our Power Connector Entrepreneur Futures Network's hosted two webinars last month to support the High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Prize. Check them out!

HVDC Webinar - April 18: 

HVDC Webinar - April 27: