Challenge 2

Challenge 2 expands upon the SCOPF problem posed in Challenge 1 by adding adjustable transformer tap ratios, phase shifting transformers, switchable shunts, price-responsive demand, ramp rate constrained generators and loads, and fast-start unit commitment. Furthermore, Challenge 2 is a maximization problem while Challenge 1 was a minimization problem. Specifically, the economic surplus, defined as the benefit of serving load minus the cost of generation, is being maximized. It is expected that the objective value of a given solution should be positive, representing economic gain, but negative objectives from poor solutions are possible.

Additionally, Divisions 3 and 4 within the competition will also permit on/off switching of transmission lines (Divisions 1 and 2 will not).

Information about the following topics may be accessed quickly using the menu to the left.


Submission window for Trial Event 3 is June 28th, 2021 – June 30th, 2021.

The blue submission button will be active during this time. All other submissions must be made in the Sandbox, except during an ongoing Event, when it is closed too.

Entrants not previously registered wishing to participate in an Event must submit their registration and be approved by ARPA-E before the Event submission window opens. We encourage new entrants to submit their registration as early as possible. Your Team page indicates if you are approved or not.

Problem Formulation

The Problem Formulation document describes these new features and the full Challenge 2 problem in further detail.


Each dataset will consist of a collection of power system network models of varying sizes with associated operating scenarios. The competition will include synthetic and industry datasets; the synthetic datasets will be released on the GO Competition website after the Event in which they are used.

The Challenge 2 datasets, except those related to an ongoing Event, are available in the Sandbox. These include training datasets, not used in an Event, with names in the form C2SvN*, where v is a version number.  Entrants can use the Sandbox submission mechanism to score their software against the Sandbox datasets on the official competition platform at any time except during an ongoing Event. 

File Formats

The Input Files and Format and the Output Files and Format have changed from Challenge 1. Most notably, there is a new type of input file and entrants will now provide separate solution files for each contingency.

Solution Evaluation

The Solution Evaluation procedure has been updated for Challenge 2.


Scoring for Challenge 2 is now uniform across all divisions. Note: Prizes are being awarded for Trial Event 3 as well as the Final Event.

Prizes:  The prize allocation is illustrated below.  Details can be found in the Scoring document.

Trial Event 3 Prizes
Trial Event 3 Prizes

Final Event Prizes
Final Event Prizes


The proposed Challenge 2 competition timeline is illustrated below and in the Timeline document. 

Challenge 2 Timeline



The Rules document has been updated for Challenge 2.

Registration:  Any individual wishing to participate in the GO Competition must be registered as a member of an Entrant Team.  Each Entrant Team may consist of one or more team members. All team members registered as part of Challenge 1 will remain registered on the GO Competition platform, but all Entrant Teams must form and register anew for Challenge 2. As in Challenge 1, the team leader is responsible for forming the team online on the GO Competition platform and completing the ARPA-E registration form. New registrations for team members and for new teams are also welcome -- please find the Log In | Register links in the upper right of any page or read How to Register if you need assistance. Entrant Teams are encouraged to keep their team names from Challenge 1 as appropriate.

Official ARPA-E team registration forms will be available to the team leaders. The team leaders will need to have these forms approved by ARPA-E in order to participate in any of the Trial and Final Events. Electronic signatures are now acceptable for Challenge 2 registration. The approximate deadlines for the events and registration cutoffs are noted in the timeline above and in the Timeline document.