Terms and Conditions

Agreement to Terms and Conditions

By completing the registration process and submitting an algorithm for evaluation you fully and unconditionally agree to and accept the following terms and conditions of the ARPA-E Grid Optimization (GO) Competition (the “GO Competition” or simply “Competition”) and the decisions of ARPA-E, which are final and binding.


This GO Competition is open only to individuals, excluding anyone affiliated with the management or operation of the GO Competition or each of their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings and their respective spouses), or live in the same household as each. This GO Competition is void where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law, including but not limited to any jurisdictions with laws that would require any registration, disclosure, filing, trust account, or posting of a bond, or any other requirements, that are not satisfied by these terms and conditions. This GO Competition is subject to local regulations. Only US citizens are eligible for prizes but the GO Competition is open to non-US citizens with the restriction that foreign nationals wishing direct access to PNNL resources must receive Foreign National Visitor and Assignment (FNVA) approval from PNNL.

Participants are bound by the GO Competition Rules posted on the GO Competition website. Cheating is defined as deliberately breaking GO Competition rules or manipulating them in such a way as to gain an advantage (gaming). The penalty is disqualification from the GO Competition. The GO Competition sponsor possesses sole discretion to determine whether competition rules have deliberately been broken.

Indemnity, Release and Limitations on Liability

By participating in the GO Competition, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Arizona State University (ASU), the Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Texas A&M University (TAMU), the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin), the University of Wisconsin at Matison (UW-Madison), and the United States Government (including DOE/ARPA-E), and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, sales representatives, distributors, licensees, agents, advertising and GO Competition agencies, and the directors, officers, employees, agents, and websites’ community members of any of the foregoing entities (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against all claims, losses, expenses, damages and liabilities arising from or based on any breach by you of these GO Competition Terms and Conditions.  In the event that you breach any of these GO Competition Terms and Conditions, Released Parties shall be entitled to and may seek indemnification from you for recovery of all legal fees, damages, costs, claims and other expenses that may be incurred by Released Parties as a result of the aforementioned breach.  In addition, by participating in the GO Competition, you agree to release and hold harmless the Released Parties, and waive any and all causes of action, for any claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages of any kind, arising out of, relating to, or in connection with your participation in the GO Competition, or receipt or use of any prize (including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees, claims, costs, personal injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction or property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the GO Competition; (b) technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines; (c) printing errors; (d) lost, late, misdirected, incorrect, garbled, or incompletely received entries; (e) errors in the administration of the GO Competition or the processing of entries; (f) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the GO Competition or acceptance, receipt, use, or misuse of any prize; or travel to any GO Competition related events; and (g) any claims based on publicity rights, copyright/trademark infringement, intellectual property rights, defamation or invasion of privacy and merchandise delivery.  The Released Parties are not responsible if any prize cannot be awarded due to travel cancellations, delays or interruptions due to acts of God, acts of war, natural disasters, weather or acts of terrorism. DOE, ARPA-E, PNNL, ASU, GT, LANL, NREL, TAMU, UT-Austin, and UW-Madison are neither liable nor responsible for any compensation disputes after the winnings have been transferred to the main entrant.

Entrant Representations and Warranties

You represent and warrant that

  • Registration information and solution submissions must be completed in a correct and truthful manner
  • Competition accounts shall not be shared with any other participant/person
  • You are responsible for abiding by any of your employers’ policies applicable to this competition
  • You are responsible for any equipment that’s required to participate in the competition.

By submitting any Algorithm, you represent and warrant that: (i) you are the sole owner of all rights to the Algorithm. (ii) You are not, and will not be, violating your obligations or any rights of any third party by providing the Algorithm or complying with your obligations hereunder; (iii) you have not previously licensed, sold, commercialized, transferred or assigned the Algorithm to another person or entity; (iv) the Algorithm has not been entered in any other commercial competition or contest where its entry would permit that contest or other entity any legal claim or rights to the Algorithm; and (v) you have the full right to provide others with the assignments and rights provided for herein.

You further represent and warrant that: (i) neither you nor your immediate family members or those living in your household are directors, officers and employees of the sponsor or support team (individuals from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Arizona State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin, or the University of Wisconsin at Matison directly engaged in the support of the GO Competition); (ii) you are not a resident of a jurisdiction where your participation is void or where this GO Competition is prohibited or restricted by the jurisdiction’s laws, including but not limited to jurisdictions with laws that would require registration, disclosure, filing, trust account, or posting of a bond, or any other requirements, that are not satisfied by these terms and conditions; (iii) IT IS YOUR SOLE RESPONSIBILITY TO COMPLY WITH LAWS OF YOUR JURISDICTION AND THE USA.

Algorithm License Grants

The winning participant or team shall retain all rights to the algorithm and related source code. 

Winner Selection

A set of scoring metrics is being developed and will consist of a weighted set of individual terms. Conditions and requirements for winning will be determined and posted at a later date.

General Conditions

  • Participant indemnifies that the algorithm produced the results submitted, but there is no guarantee that it is error free, i.e., there may exist datasets that will not produce the correct results or the algorithm makes mistakes that cancel or otherwise do not alter the result.
  • Competition sponsor/management are not responsible for equipment or communication failure during a participant’s submission or evaluation, for miscommunications, or late entries that may result.
  • Any breach of the competition rules/requirements results in revocation of the participant’s ability to submit solutions and renders the participant ineligible for prizes. A team with more than one-third of its members ineligible is no longer eligible as a team.
  • Competition problem results/solutions will be publicly available, but participants retain all rights to their work. Technical papers describing the algorithms suitable for publication must be available on the competition website or as a link to where document is available (this may involve a fee).
  • The PNNL computer system hosting the Web portal shall be the official timekeeper.


The sponsor will use the personal details of participants for the purposes of the competition, but these will not be passed to any third parties. Any decision of the sponsor at any point in the competition is final and no correspondence will be entered into in relation to the competition or any part thereof.

The sponsor reserves the right to exclude any individual or team in the event that they or the team members bring all or any part of, the competition, or the sponsor, or any other party connected with the competition, into disrepute.

PNNL Privacy Notice


The sponsor of this GO Competition is ARPA-E with the support of PNNL, ASU, GT, LANL, NREL, TAMU, UW-Austin, and UW-Madison. Entrants shall not use the trademarks of any of these entities or falsely associate themselves with them during or after the GO Competition Period.