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Net Load Forecasting Prize

Develop probabilistic models that predict net load a day in advance and promote adoption of probabilistic forecasts and evaluation tools.

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stage:
Winner Announcement
prize:
$600,000

This challenge is closed

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Summary

Overview

Net Load Forecasting Prize

The American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize is designed to incentivize innovators to develop probabilistic models that predict amounts of net load a day in advance of the forecast and promote the adoption of probabilistic forecasts and evaluation tools for those forecasts. This prize offers up to $600,000 in cash prizes, with three anticipated winners and three anticipated runners-up.

Raising Forecasting Awareness and Standards

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, in co-sponsorship with EPRI, is launching the Net Load Forecasting Prize to: 

  1. Increase stakeholder awareness of the state of the art in net load forecasting;
  2. Demonstrate the feasibility of fair and high-quality evaluations of probabilistic net load forecasts using a publicly available open-source platform; and
  3. Promote the use of probabilistic forecast models and an industry-common evaluation platform with transparent metrics and specifications for probabilistic net load forecasts. 

As co-sponsor of the prize, EPRI will provide historical net load data for competitors to train forecasting models and provide operational support for the forecast evaluation platform used during the evaluation phase of the prize.

 

Competition Structure and Prizes

Every day for four weeks (28 consecutive days), competitors submit forecast model results for at least four locations in the United States to the Solar Forecast Arbiter platform. This platform will be used to assess the models’ forecasting performance. The Solar Forecast Arbiter will compare how the forecasts perform to a benchmark forecast using a time-of-day persistence ensemble model. 

The Net Load Forecasting Prize offers up to $600,000 in cash prizes. Administrators anticipate awarding up to 6 teams—3 winners and 3 runners-up—depending on performance of the competitors. See the official rules for full details. 

 Number of Prizes AwardedPrizes
WinnersUp to 3 anticipated cash prizes

1st - $200,000

2nd - $150,000

3rd - $100,000

Runners-upUp to 3 anticipated cash prizes4th, 5th, and 6th each receive $50,000

 


Guidelines

What is “Net Load” Forecasting? 

“Net load” refers to the difference between "true load"—the total electricity demand of the loads—and the electricity generation in the distribution system from resources such as solar and other distributed generators. 

Learn more about net load forecasting in the official rules.

Who Can Compete?

Institutions, companies, and nonprofit organizations based in the United States are able to compete. In keeping with the goal of growing a community of innovators, competitors are encouraged to form diverse, multidisciplinary teams.

View the official rules for full eligibility requirements. 

Solutions that Shape the Future of Forecasting

Are you an organization looking to advance the solar forecasting industry? You belong here. Join the American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize to get started! 

Follow the Challenge by clicking "Follow" in the upper right corner of the page to Get Started!

 

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by using the follow feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at .

The American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize is a multimillion-dollar prize competition designed to energize U.S. solar innovation through a series of contests that accelerate the entrepreneurial process from years to months. The American-Made Net Load Forecasting is directed and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. Learn more.

Timeline
Updates14

Challenge Updates

Congratulations to the Net Load Forecasting Prize Winners!

Sept. 13, 2023, 2:41 p.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

The leaderboard results are in, and three teams—and three runners-up—have taken home top honors and a share of a $600,000 prize pool! 

More than 70 teams competed over the summer, using their self-developed solar forecasting models to create net load predictions for four locations across the U.S. Once the competition kicked off, teams submitted their forecast model results every day for 28 consecutive days to the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI’s) Solar Forecast Arbiter platform, which compared teams’ results to a benchmark forecast.

At the end of the test period, the following teams topped the leaderboard, and were announced as winners at the RE+ Conference on Sept. 12: 

  • First place: Team Reliable Autonomy, Basking Ridge, NJ, awarded $200,000 (Represented by Garnet on the leaderboard)
  • Second place: Team ShiftedEnergy, Honolulu, HI, awarded $150,000 (Pearl)
  • Third place: Team Teraton Partners, San Francisco, CA, awarded $100,000 (Turquoise) 

Additionally, these three runner-up teams received $50,000 each:

  • Team Leaptran, San Antonio, TX (Quartz)
  • Team Linear Intelligence, Apex, NC (Chrysocolla)
  • Team Innowatts, Houston, TX (Cuprite)

In partnership with EPRI, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office developed the Net Load Forecasting Prize as a method to incentivize innovators to develop probabilistic models that predict amounts of net load a day in advance. Being able to accurately predict the net load of an electric grid allows operators to better plan for optimized procurement of reserves and utilization of other dispatchable energy sources. 

Congratulations to the winners and everyone who participated! 


Leaderboard Results Coming Soon

July 24, 2023, 2:51 p.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

The Net Load Forecasting Prize competitors have finally concluded their 28-day forecasting period. Thanks to the more than 70 teams who participated in this prize, improving their forecasting models every week.

At this time, the prize administrators at the U.S. Department of Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute are reviewing and validating final results. Winners will be announced live at RE+ in Las Vegas on Sept. 12. If you’re attending RE+, we invite you to join the announcement, happening during the American-Made Solar Prize Round 6 Go! Demo Day and Winner Announcement. If you can’t join the live announcement, we’ll share the results here, on HeroX, on Sept. 13. 

As a reminder, the top three performing teams will win the following cash prizes: 

  • 1st - $200,000
  • 2nd - $150,000
  • 3rd - $100,000

Up to three runners-up will win $50,000 for their successful solar forecasting capabilities. Good luck to all competitors and stay tuned for the results in a few weeks!


Leaderboard Update: Week 4

July 14, 2023, 12:05 p.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

We’re getting close to the end of the Net Load Forecasting Prize! More than 70 teams are completing their final days of the forecasting period and the top 10 teams are battling it out. At the end of week 4, we have Pearl moving back into first place, Garnet jumping up to second place, and Turquoise holding steady in third place. 

Since June 18, teams have been submitting day-ahead forecasts every day for locations in Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, and Georgia. The forecasts are then compared against actual net load data (provided by four partner utilities) using the open-source Solar Forecast Arbiter platform. This makes the Net Load Forecasting Prize one of the largest and most realistic forecast competitions to date!

The leaderboard tab on HeroX shows the rankings for each of the four locations, with each team listed as an anonymous gemstone pseudonym. The rankings below show the cumulative results across all locations.

Competitors have just a few days left to upload forecasts and switch up the rankings. Check out the leaderboard tab for full standings in each of the locations and stay tuned for a final update next week and the winner announcement in September!


Leaderboard Update: Forecasting Halfway Point

July 6, 2023, 7:15 a.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

We’re halfway through the American-Made Net Load Forecasting Prize, with more than 70 teams battling it out to see whose probabilistic forecasts are best! At the halfway point of the competition, Quartz is in the lead, with Pearl in second place, and Turquoise rounding out the third-place spot. 

Each team has been submitting day-ahead forecasts every day for locations in Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, and Georgia. The forecasts are then compared against actual net load data (provided by four partner utilities) using the open-source Solar Forecast Arbiter platform. This makes the Net Load Forecasting Prize one of the largest and most realistic forecast competitions to date!

The leaderboard tab on HeroX shows the rankings for each of the four locations, with each team listed as an anonymous gemstone pseudonym. The rankings below show the cumulative results across all locations.

Some notable highlights from the Net Load Forecasting Prize so far include:

  • Over 1 million forecast data points have been evaluated so far using the Solar Forecast Arbiter.
  • The teams include commercial forecast providers, startups, and 25 universities from across the U.S.
  • Locations with high solar penetration (e.g., Hawaii) have been the most challenging to forecast, due to the net load increasing significantly as behind-the-meter solar generation decreases from passing clouds. Unlike deterministic forecasts, the probabilistic forecasts can capture this uncertainty, as shown in this example:

Check out the leaderboard tab for full standings in each of the locations and stay tuned for weekly updates!


Leaderboard Update: First Two Weeks of Forecasting Results Are In

June 30, 2023, 12:53 p.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

The Net Load Forecasting Prize competitors have officially completed their first two weeks of forecasts and the anonymized results are in! Pearl is taking an early lead, with Turquoise closely behind in second place and Chrysocolla in third. 

Every day from June 18 to July 16, competitors submit solar forecasts for four locations across the United States. The leaderboard tab on HeroX shows the rankings for each of the four locations, with each team listed as an anonymous gemstone pseudonym. The rankings below show the cumulative results across all locations.

Throughout the forecasting period, prize administrators will share the top 10 cumulatively ranked teams on HeroX throughout the forecasting period. The top 10 of the more than 70 total competing teams are as follows: 

The top three performing teams at the end of the forecasting period will win the following cash prizes: 

  • 1st - $200,000
  • 2nd - $150,000
  • 3rd - $100,000

Up to three runners-up will win $50,000 for their successful solar forecasting capabilities.

Check out the leaderboard tab for full standings in each of the locations and stay tuned for weekly updates!


Forum24
Teams447
Entries
Leaderboard
Resources
FAQ
Site Location List