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Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy Finalists 24hr demonstration success

Five teams met the challenge of generating 60 kWh of electricity in a 24-hour period by demonstrating off-grid electricity generation using green energy sources

The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation challenged five teams to create a minimum of 60 kilowatt hours within 24 hours using only off-grid green sources. Each finalist team received $70,000 to develop and test their designs in the live field test demonstration that took place last week.

The finalist teams are:

  • AfTrak Micro Electric Agriculture and Energy, for its innovative system of using solar microgrids to power custom-designed tractors for deep-bed farming;
  • GEG ehf., for its solar- and geothermal-powered hybrid renewable energy system;
  • New Digit Technologies, for its compact, portable device to generate energy and purify water;
  • OMNIVAT, for its containerized electricity generation and storage system for remote communities; and,
  • Smart Agri-Centres, for its solar-powered community hubs that provide affordable clean energy and services to farmers.

“Access to electricity can advance industrialization across Africa and improve the standards of living for many marginalized communities,” said Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, co-founder and CEO of the Motsepe Foundation. “These finalists are building innovative solutions to deliver on the promise of a sustainable future, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Judges evaluated competing teams’ abilities to meet the challenge of generating 60kWh of electricity in a 24-hour period by demonstrating off-grid electricity generation using green energy sources; validating demonstration results with data collection; and providing affordable and reliable electricity to energy-poor communities, as informed by the demonstration.

“These finalists have once again proven the value of the innovation competition model in driving breakthroughs,” said Emily Musil Church, PhD, Senior Director at the Milken Institute. In May 2024 the judges will award a US$1 million grand prize. A runner-up prize of US$250,000 will also be awarded. In total, the Milken–Motsepe Prize in Green Energy will award over US$2 million in prizes and additional benefits.