Want to build a prototype for a solar startup in less than 24 hours and win $10,000 in cash prizes? Powerhouse is hosting the fifth annual SunCode Solar Hackathon on Friday, April 7th through Saturday April 8th at the Citizen Engagement Lab in downtown Oakland. SunCode is your opportunity to build tools that can help power the planet with sunshine. Previous SunCodes have produced startups like Powerhive and UtilityAPI. You don't have to know anything about solar to participate. 


Friday Evening April 7 

  • 6:00-7:00p - Happy Hour and Dinner 
  • 7:00-8:30p - Form Teams
  • 9:00p - Doors Close 

Saturday April 8 

  • 8:00a - Doors Open and Breakfast 
  • 8:00a-12:00p - Hacking 
  • 12:00-1:00p - Lunch 
  • 1:00-6:00p - Hacking - To pitch you must upload to DevPost by 6pm - (Takes 15+ mins) 
  • 6:00-6:30p - Dinner 
  • 6:30-8:45p - Pitches to Judges - 3 mins per team and 2 mins Q+A
  • 8:45-9:15p - Happy Hour (Judges Deliberate)
  • 9:15-9:30p - Winners Announced


DSM Same Sun, More Power™ Challenge I: Build an application that visualizes the financial benefits (e.g. via increased power output and saved maintenance costs) of a materials solution (e.g. anti-reflective coating with anti-soiling properties) that is applied to a PV installation that is already up and running, across various climate conditions.

DSM Same Sun, More Power™ Challenge II: Build an application tailored to PV site developers that enables selection of specific modules and material sets that will optimize PV plant performance depending on the site conditions (e.g. climate and irradiance). Quantify the financial benefits of enhancing the module selection capability.

Sunrun Challenge I: Reimagine the Solar Homeowner Experience. What are customers interested in knowing about? How do they want to interact with the system? How do we maximize value for both the customer and the solar company? At what point in the process do they want a portal? Create a demonstration portal.  

Sunrun Challenge II: Home Energy Management - Control at least two devices from different manufacturers. Demonstrate the ability to orchestrate the devices for maximum benefit based on at least two different scenarios (PG&E Smart Day, normal day). Devices will be provided.  

Powerhouse Challenge: Batteries are being installed at a rapid rate as part of solar systems. Create an algorithm or machine learning routine that will maximize customer benefit in a variable TOU rate situation while also maximizing battery lifespan.  




Who can participate? 

Anyone over 18 

Is my ticket transferrable?


Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No need to bring a paper ticket

What is the refund policy?

No refunds 

Will I get a SunCode T-shirt at the Solar Hackathon?

For sure - after you fill out the survey

How many people can be on a team?

Minimum 3 and Maximum 5 

Who should be on my team?

The most successful teams have at least two software developers and one solar person 

Can a member be part of more than one team?


Can a team work on multiple apps/ideas?

Teams can only submit one final idea to judges 

When can we start coding?

Friday night after you form your team. Teams are subject to code review to ensure all development happens on site

Can we change team formation after registration?

Yes but teams must be set but Saturday at 8am when coding begins 

Do I have to be at the event to participate?

Yes - Friday night 6:30-8:30pm and Saturday 8am-9pm 

How long will the registration be open?

Until it sells out - you can register on site the day of if tickets are still available 

When will the winners be announced?

Pitches start on Saturday, April 8th at 6:30pm 

Can I attend the pitches and awards without participating in SunCode?

Yes - you can buy your ticket here for pitches/awards 

Who owns the software after SunCode is over?

What you create is yours

Will there be food at the event?

Yes, dinner on Friday and breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served on Saturday (veggie and gluten free options will be available - we hear you Bay Area). There will be beer.

What are the challenges?

Sponsors are in the process of submitting specific challenges. You will also have an opportunity to come up with your own idea, announce your challenge and create a team to tackle it together.


Submissions must be uploaded to Devpost by 6pm on Saturday April 8th 

Watch THIS to upload your submission to DevPost

You must include the following:

  1. A team name
  2. A team image, or logo
  3. Deliver a 3 minute pitch to judges with 2 mins for Q&A 

Hackathon Sponsors


$10,000 in prizes

1st Place - $4,000

2nd Place - $3,000

3rd Place - $2,000

People's Choice - $1,000

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

1. Purchase a ticket 

2. Register on DevPost 

3. Come ready to hack on Friday April 7 at 6:00pm at The Citizen Engagement Lab in Oakland 

4. Use the datasets and APIs below:

Datasets (From 2016 - We're updating as new sets arrive) 


Landsat Aerial Data/Maps

Enphase Enlighten Systems API:

Creating an account


Genability API:

Documentation site 

Trial sign up

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Dept of Energy) APIs:

20+ Solar Datasets from NREL and DoE

NREL solar tools and API overview  

Open PV API - The real-time status of the solar photovoltaic market in the U.S.

NREL developer network:  - The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's developer network helps developers access and use energy data via Web services, including renewable energy and alternative fuel data.

Utility Rate Database: Information and downloadsAPI 

Incentives and Policies data, InformationAPI  

NREL SAM SDK: The SAM Simulation Core (SSC) software development kit (SDK) is a collection of developer tools for creating renewable energy system models

City of Oakland Buildings Energy Billing History (via UtilityAPI w/ access token "opendatatoken")

API Documentation

UtilityAPI would like provide a data to those teams who would like to integrate utility data into their hackathon projects. Just sign up for an account at utilityapi.com and come see Daniel (red polo) if you have any questions! Second, we have an open dataset consisting of the City of Oakland's municipal buildings. You can access a list of available meters HERE

PVComplete Layout Widget and Equipment Database: This widget and accompanying API makes it easy to do a graphical solar array layout on top of google maps. The API also include access to our database of solar modules and solar inverters. Please see our landing page for details on how to deploy an instance of the widget and access our equipment database.

Tendril Dataset: Click here

Helios APIs:

Helios: A real-time intelligence analytics platform that identifies weather events and visibility conditions from any imagery source connected to the platform. This could help solar operators or the energy grid respond to changes in the weather that affect production in real-time.

GOES-R: NOAA’s newest weather satellite that Helios designed, built and operates. It provides all of these critical weather and solar radiance products for the whole western hemisphere every 10 minutes. We are closest to the data in the world and want to empower entrepreneurs to connect this data into their models via API and cloud data access

Terms and Conditions while using Powerhouse Hackathon datasets:

Data provided during the Powerhouse SunCode Solar Hackathon event is for the participants to use during the event only. If you need to reorganize, modify, or delete the data, you may do so during the event.

However, after the hackathon you must either delete the copies of data you receive or contact the data provider / owner to arrange a long-term licensing agreement.

If a sponsor provided the data set, feel free to reach out to a mentor to get connected with that sponsor. They’ll help answer your questions to the best of their ability. 

Winning teams are subject to a code review to ensure the code was built during the Powerhouse SunCode Solar Hackathon.


Luda Kopeikina

Luda Kopeikina
Sr Investment Manager, DSM Venturing, DSM, Judge

Asif Iqbal

Asif Iqbal
Vice President of Product Management and Software Engineering, Sunrun, Judge

Ammar Qusaibaty

Ammar Qusaibaty
Senior Renewable Energy Consultant, SunShot, Judge

Farshid Arman

Farshid Arman
Senior Director, Siemens, Mentor

Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy
Danny Kennedy, Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund, Mentor

Chris Cholette

Chris Cholette
Senior Director, Software Engineering, Sunrun, Mentor

Bosco So

Bosco So
Presidential Innovation Fellow, Department of Energy, Mentor

Ilen Zazueta-Hall

Ilen Zazueta-Hall
Sr. Director of Product Management, Enphase Energy, Mentor

Nathan Arbitman

Nathan Arbitman
Strategy Director, DSM Innovation Center, Mentor

Judging Criteria

  • Mission
    How well does the solution address the goals defined for this challenge? (20%)
  • Quality
    How creative, innovative, interesting, and unique is the solution in meeting contest requirements? (20%)
  • Implementation
    How well is the idea executed by the team and how well is the solution integrated with potential customers or systems? (20%)
  • User Experience
    How successful is the design, user functionality, graphics, typography, ease of use and visual aesthetic? (20%)
  • Potential Impact
    To what extent will the submission impact the clean energy industry? How scaleable is the submission? (20%)

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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