Inventors with an interest in solar energy will vie for $3 million in prize money as the U.S. Department of Energy kicks off its American-Made Solar Prize competition.

A department representative will brief a San Diego audience on the competition at a morning session Aug. 30. The orientation meeting is set to run from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at DeskHub, 2159 India St. in San Diego. Thursday’s presentation will cover eligibility criteria, prizes and the application process for each of the contests.

The first application deadline for the three-part contest is Oct. 5.

Organizers are asking innovators to identify and develop solutions addressing critical needs for the solar industry.

Cleantech San Diego is supporting the initiative. The Thursday session will be live-streamed on Cleantech San Diego’s Facebook page.