Washington, DC—September 2, 2008 –Nevada Power, Efficiency Vermont, and Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC) each signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), agreeing to work cooperatively to promote the winners of the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize competition. The L Prize is the first government-sponsored technology competition designed to spur lighting manufacturers to develop high quality, high-efficiency solid-state lighting (LED) products to replace the common light bulb. The L Prize competition aims to radically accelerate America’s shift from inefficient, dated lighting products to innovative, high-performance products. The new partners join four major California utilities -- Pacific Gas & Electric, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison -- in their agreement to create utility programs and other incentives for winning products.
“The L Prize partners bring the greatest rewards of all to the winners of the
competition—ready-made markets for the rapid adoption of high-performance solid-state lighting products,” stated Jim Brodrick, SSL Program Manager for DOE. “This sends a strong signal to U.S. manufacturers of high quality solid-state lighting products that seven partners are now ready to back L Prize winners with incentives and collaborative marketing, upping the number of potential fast track customers to more than 40 million.” Access to large markets through these partners ensures volume purchases of winning products, which will continue to drive the cost of this technology down, leading to broader acceptance in the market.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced the competition to drastically reduce energy consumption in May 2008 as a result of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which directs DOE to establish the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition. The legislation challenges industry to develop replacement technologies for today’s most widely used and inefficient products: 60W incandescent lamps and PAR 38 halogen lamps, as well as development of a new “21st Century Lamp”.
The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 authorizes DOE to establish the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize competition. The legislation challenges industry to develop replacement technologies for today’s most widely used and inefficient products, 60W incandescent lamps and PAR 38 halogen lamps, as well as development of a new
“21st Century Lamp”. The EISA legislation establishes basic requirements and prize amounts for each category. The legislation authorizes up to $20 million in cash prizes; the exact amount of the cash prize for each category will be determined based on DOE Congressional appropriations and supplemental contributions from foundations and utilities. DOE will contribute up to $1 million to the cash prize purse, subject to enactment of the FY 2009 appropriation. In addition, potential opportunities for future federal purchasing agreements, utility programs, and other incentives for winning products may far exceed the value of the cash prize. For more details on the L Prize competition, visit www.lightingprize.org.
About DOE’s Solid-State Lighting Program
As the lead federal agency for solid-state lighting activities, the U.S. Department of Energy has made a long-term commitment to accelerate the research, development, and market introduction of solid-state lighting. DOE-funded R&D projects drive breakthroughs in solid-state lighting efficiency and performance. DOE’s market introduction strategies are closely aligned with research progress to help buyers differentiate good products in good applications, and avoid early buyer dissatisfaction and delay of market development. DOE CALiPER testing of commercially available solid-state lighting products provides unbiased information on product performance. DOE GATEWAY demonstrations showcase solid-state lighting products in real commercial and residential installations. The DOE ENERGY STAR® criteria for solid-state lighting products help buyers identify energy-saving products and make informed decisions. The first ENERGY STAR-labeled solid-state lighting products are expected on the market in late 2008. To learn more about DOE’s solid-state lighting program, visit www.netl.doe.gov/ssl.
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