Announcing Grid Optimization (GO) Competition Challenge 2 Winners

The Grid Optimization (GO) Competition—managed by ARPA‑E—is a series of challenges aimed at developing software management solutions to address challenging power grid problems. The competition’s intent is to create a more reliable, resilient and secure American electricity grid. 

The GO Competition began with Challenge 1, which tasked participating teams to find solutions to a security constrained optimal power flow (SCOPF) problem. Challenge 2 expands upon the SCOPF problem posed in Challenge 1 by adding new features including transmission line switching, adjustable transformer tap ratios, phase shifting transformers, switchable shunts, fast-start unit commitment, and price-responsive demand with ramping constraints.

ARPA-E is pleased to announce nine Challenge 2 winners. The winning teams (listed below) will receive a combined total of $2.4 million in prize money, which will be used to further develop their respective approaches, and to pursue industry adoption of their technologies. Through the GO Competition, successful participants will further develop advanced software to enable a responsive, resilient, and efficient power grid.

Challenge 2 Winners & Prizes

Team Name 


Total Prize Amount (projected) 








Global Optimal Technologies


Pearl Street Technologies 

Pearl Street Technologies 


Electric Stampede

University of Colorado Boulder



Georgia Tech


Monday Mornings 

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 



Lehigh University


Gordian Knot 

Virginia Tech


“I am proud that Coloradans are leading the way in developing innovative energy technology solutions that improve our infrastructure while tackling climate change,” said U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.). “Ensuring reliability and resiliency of our electric grid, while advancing our ability to integrate more sources of cleaner electricity is vital to powering communities across urban and rural America.”

“Congratulations to CU Boulder on their new, innovative power grid solutions for our fast-evolving power system,” said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.).

“I’m pleased to see Pearl Street Technologies win an award in the Grid Optimization Competition. Optimizing the electric grid will help us deploy more variable renewable energy sources and ensure grid reliability, and it could also help reduce consumer costs. This is important work, and I am glad to see a Pittsburgh company leading the way,” said U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA 18).

“Modern life depends on a reliable power grid. Improving grid capabilities is an important task for the 21st century, and Virginia Tech’s success in the Grid Optimization Competition shows it is well positioned to lead the way forward on this challenge,” said U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA 9).

“Our electrical grid is facing increased threats from climate change and cyberattacks. GravityX and ARPA-E innovative solutions will increase grid flexibility, reliability, and resilience, and further enable the use of distributed resources like rooftop solar. Their innovation won a prize today—but the bigger prize is how we will make sure clean electricity gets to where it is needed most, like hospitals, schools, and emergency services,” said U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM 3).

The rapid development of new resources, including distributed energy resources (DERs), intermittent resources (wind and solar), and storage has created a new set of challenges for grid management. Right now, grid management software does not allow for new forms of generation and storage to be used at its full potential. Existing grid software makes several simplifying assumptions that produce suboptimal power flow solutions and result in increased electricity costs; the effects of these assumptions grow as the number of DERs grows.

Increasing the emphasis on grid resilience demands innovative management of more diverse and decentralized resources, which existing grid software is not equipped to handle. The GO Competition recognizes that innovation is needed to increase grid flexibility, reliability, and resilience while substantially reducing system costs and barriers to fully integrating emerging technologies.

You can access more information on Challenge 2 teams and scoring on the GO Competition Leaderboard.