The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative recently launched the new Solar in Your Community Challenge, a competition with $5 million in prizes, which includes a $500,000 grand prize. The new competition challenges communities to develop replicable financial and business models to expand solar in underserved communities.
The challenge is being created with the National Community Solar Partnership, which the White House and 68 cities, states, and businesses launched in 2015. That partnership has the goal of installing 1 gigawatt (GW) of low- and moderate-income solar by 2020. One the key ways it will do this is by advancing community solar.
The DEO said challenge will offer a total of $5 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams across the country. The new challenge is being administered by The State University of New York (SUNY) Polytechnic Institute.
The challenge is seeking two types of projects over the 18-month challenge. The first is for teams that are working to develop a portfolio of solar projects in their communities or create new solar programs that extend solar access to low- and moderate-income households and nonprofits, DOE said. The other is for technical assistance providers assisting teams throughout the 18-month challenge.
Awards will be available throughout the challenge, according to DOE. It will seed awards, technical assistance vouchers and final prizes. The seed awards of up to $60,000 per team will be dispersed throughout the competition as teams reach milestones toward their final goals. The technical assistance vouchers will be granted to compensate those consultants and coaches that work with the teams through the challenge. Fully $1 million is reserved for the final prizes including the $500,000 grand prize.
Teams will create new models to benefit low and middle-income households with at least 20 percent of the energy and benefits of resulting models being assigned to LMI households. Another 60 percent of the benefits must go to non-profit organizations; state, local, or tribal governments; or community service organizations. Teams that exceed these goals will be eligible for additional prizes.Tweet