Congratulations to the Powerhouse SunCode Solar Hackathon Winners!
1st Place - Solar Maps
2nd Place - eBits
3rd Place & People's Choice Award - SunScore

See you at the 2017 SunCode Solar Hackathon. Hack on. 

Get your ticket while they last; the event will sell out.  Participants are required to have a ticket and register on DevPost.

Want to build a solar startup in less than 24 hours? Win $10,000 in cash prizes?  There’s nothing stopping you. Powerhouse is hosting the fourth annual SunCode Solar Hackathon on Friday, May 13th through Saturday the 14th at our headquarters in downtown Oakland. SunCode is your opportunity to solve challenges that will accelerate solar growth around the world.  Previous Powerhouse Hackathons have produced startups such as Powerhive, UtilityAPI, SunSwarm & Novaya Solar

The solutions you build are the foundation for the solar revolution.  Show us your skills and code the sun at #Suncode!



Friday May 13th

Happy Hour and Dinner 6:00-7:00 PM (1hr)
Hack Introduction 7:00-7:30 PM (30min)
Form Teams 7:30-8:30 PM  (1hr)

Saturday May 14th

Breakfast & Registration 8:00-9:00 AM (1hr)
(You may start hacking when you arrive - as early as 8am) 
Hacking 9:00-12:00 PM (3hrs)
Lunch 12:00-1:00 PM (1hr)
(You may continue hacking during lunch)
Hacking 1:00-6:00 PM (4hrs)
(ALL submissions must be uploaded to Devpost by 6pm)
Watch THIS on how to submit on DevPost
Welcome by Sponsors 6:00-6:15 PM (15min)
Pitches Round 1 6:15-7:00 PM (45min)
(Each team will have 2 min. to pitch with no Q&A)
Dinner 7:00-7:30 PM (30min)
Pitches Round 2 7:30-8:00 PM (30min)
(Six finalists will have one minute to summarize their pitch to judges - with 4 minutes of Q&A from judges)
Happy Hour 8:00-8:30 PM (30min)
Winners Announced  8:30-9:00 PM (30min)
Afterparty 9pm at Woods Bar



  • SunPower Challenges: 1) Create a version of Tetris with solar panels. Make it fun and educational. 2) Using SunPower’s SimEng API, create an engaging application showing the benefits of high-efficiency solar panels compared to conventional solar. 3) Create an application that allows homeowners identify locations for SunPower Helix ground mount systems.  Use a simple way to show land coverage, energy output, and the number of homes that will be powered by the system
  • NREL Challenge: The residential rooftop solar industry lacks useful product comparison tools.  Interested homeowners do not have industry standard benchmarks (like MSRP for cars) to accurately evaluate quotes.  Complicated incentive packages,  leasing programs, and partial ownership models complicate things.  Combined with varying utility rate schedules effectively creating micro-markets, it’s often too much for the average homeowner to process.  How does a prospective solar customer find the best deal?  How do they negotiate the best rates? How do they know if they were successful or not?
  • Tendril Challenge: Create a solar score to define the attractiveness of solar as an option for any home in the US. Key variables range from simple Rooftop PV suitability to including additional variables like energy efficiency of the home, community solar availability, and impact on offsetting utility bills. The ideal Solar Fit Score would be similar to a Walk Score for a house as an indication of the value of solar for an individual home. 
  • Sunrun Challenge: Determine from aerial imagery and parcel data the number of homes that do not have solar in a certain area, and export a list of address that don't have solar. From aerial imagery and parcel data, automatically identify roof outlines/edges and vegetation. Other points to consider: measure suitability for a particular home or set of homes for solar using weather/insolation data and also determine roof surfaces at some degree of accuracy. 
  • Powerhouse Challenges: 1) Create a solution to give developers the platform to understand regulations, reach customers, and deploy solar assets under San Francisco's new construction solar mandate. 2) Create an interactive map solution to search for building roof size, title information, and existing business contact details for solar applications.
  • Bring your own challenge - Friday evening you will have an opportunity to announce your challenge and create a team to tackle it together.




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. We have 2 methods to do so: first, we're happy to offer 5 free meters to any team who would like to integrate the data collection. Just sign up for an account at and come see Beau in the 7th floor lobby until noon on Saturday to be credited 5 free meters for the hackathon! 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


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.



Who can participate? 

Anyone over 18 that wants to have fun by putting their software, design, and / or solar skills to use

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?


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

No need to bring a paper ticket - save the trees 

What is the refund policy?

No refunds - sorry!  

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?

Min 3 - max 5 

Who should be on my team?

The most successful teams have at least one person in development, design, and solar but it's up to you 

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 development?

Saturday morning at 8am - teams are subject to code review to ensure 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 - Event runs Friday night 6:30-8:30pm and Saturday 8am-9pm 

How long will the registration be open?

Until it sells out

When will the winners be announced?

Pitches are Saturday, May 14th at 6pm and awards are given at 8:30pm

Can I attend the pitches/awards without participating in the hackathon?

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

Who owns the software/project after the hackathon is over?

What you create is yours

Will there be food served at the event?

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



Submissions must be uploaded to Devpost by 6pm PST, Saturday May 14th

Watch THIS to upload your submission to DevPost

Be sure to include the following:

  1. A team name
  2. A team image, or logo
  3. Deliver a 2 minute pitch to judges - no Q&A
  4. Six finalists will have 1 minute to recap their idea, then judges will have 4 minutes for Q&A

Hackathon Sponsors


$10,000 in prizes

1st Place - $4,000

2nd Place - $3,000

3rd Place - $2,000

Peoples 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 code the sun on Friday May 13th at 6:00pm at Powerhouse in Oakland


Fiona Taylor

Fiona Taylor
Vice President at SolarCity, Judge

Marc Van Den Berg

Marc Van Den Berg
Partner, DBL Investors, Judge

Billy Hinners

Billy Hinners
VP of Technology, SunRun, Judge

Jake Wachmann

Jake Wachmann
Director of Product Management, SunPower, Judge

Sloane Morgan

Sloane Morgan
Customer Experience Officer at Sungevity, Mentor

Chris Cholette

Chris Cholette
Engineering / DevOps Leader at SunRun, Mentor

Farshid Arman

Farshid Arman
Sr. Director, Energy Technologies, Siemens, Mentor

Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy
Managing Director, CalCEF, Mentor

Ilen Zazueta-Hall

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

Matt Perkins

Matt Perkins
Director, Onsite Power Solutions, Current, 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 solar industry? (20%)

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

Terawatt Sponsor
Gigawatt Sponsors
Megawatt Sponsors

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