Challenge 2

Challenge 2 has ended and submissions are CLOSED. $2.4 million was awarded to 9 teams.

Challenge 2 concluded with a virtual Outreach Event October 4, 2021, The agenda and slides are available at

Challenge 2 expanded 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 the Final Event was August 9th, 2021 – August 12th, 2021. The window closed August 12 at 11:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time (UTC - 7). Submissions are now CLOSED.

Only ONE submission per approved team was allowed. The Dataset was C2_Final. All Divisions were scored so selecting a Division during submission was not necessary.

Your Team page indicates if you were approved or not.

Problem Formulation

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


Each dataset consisted of a collection of power system network models of varying sizes with associated operating scenarios. The Challenge 2 included synthetic and industry datasets; the synthetic datasets have been released here. These include training datasets, not used in an Event, with names in the form C2SvN*, where v is a version number, and additional datasets prepared for the Final Event but not used.

File Formats

The Input Files and Format and the Output Files and Format changed from Challenge 1. Most notably, there is a new type of input file and entrants must now provide separate solution files for each contingency. Unlike Challenge 1, where different scenarios were used for Divisions 1 and 3 (Real-Time) and Divisions 2 and 4, a given Challenge 2 scenario is the same for all Divisions.

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 Challenge 2 Rules document was updated April 16, 2021.

Registration:  Any individual wishing to participate in any 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 subsequent Challenges. 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 previous Challenges as appropriate.

Official ARPA-E team registration forms are available to the team leaders. The team leaders 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. The approximate deadlines for the events and registration cutoffs are noted in the timeline above and in the Timeline document.


The proposed Challenge 2 competition timeline is illustrated below and in the Timeline document. The actual timeline varied slightly from the proposed timeline.

Challenge 2 Timeline


Outreach Event

Challenge 2 concluded with a virtual Outreach Event on October 5-6, 2021. The agenda and slides are available at

Total Prizes ($k) to be Awarded, Subject to Eligibility
Team Trial Event 3 Final Event FE + T3 
GravityX 130 600 730
NU_Columbia_Artelys 170 360 530
GOT-BSI-OPF 0 420 420
Pearl Street Technologies 70 270 340
Electric Stampede 140 0 140
GMI-GO 60 60 120
Monday Mornings 0 60 60
GO-SNIP 0 30 30
Gordian Knot 30 0 30
total 600 1,800 2,400