American Made Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar graphic

The American-Made Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar (The Sunny Awards) is a prize competition that recognizes community solar projects and programs that employ or develop best practices to increase equitable access to the meaningful benefits of community solar for subscribers and their communities.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the 2022 Sunny Awards on July 27, 2022. With $100,000 in prizes available, this first round offered up to five $10,000 Sunny Awards Grand Prizes to the top teams and 31 additional $1,000 Sunny Finalist Awards to competitors who found effective ways to equitably deliver the specific, meaningful benefits of community solar identified by the National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP). SETO announced the finalists on November 9, 2022 and Grand Prize winners on January 19, 2023.

About the Prize

To participate, teams submitted applications for either a community solar project (individual community solar installations) or program (state, district, territory, or utility-run initiatives that enable, incentivize, or otherwise support the development of multiple community solar projects within a specific jurisdiction). Applications needed to prove the project or program provided meaningful benefits in at least one of the following categories:

  • Greater Households Savings
  • Low- to moderate-income (LMI) Household Access
  • Resilience and Grid Benefits
  • Community Ownership
  • Equitable Workforce Development

Sunny Finalist Award winners received a cash prize of $1,000 and advanced in the prize challenge. For the Grand Prize, a panel of external reviewers used a pre-determined and publicly available set of scoring guidance to select five projects/programs to win $10,000. These projects/programs were able to demonstrate significant achievement in delivering meaningful benefits across multiple categories. Additionally, non-monetary awards recognized programs or projects in each of the meaningful benefits categories, including two extra categories of Community Engagement and Innovation in Impact.

    Grand Prize Winners

    Community Power: Jobs and Savings for LMI Households
    Brooklyn, NY | CEC Stuyvesant Cove, Inc. dba Solar One
    Community Power delivers energy savings to 500 households, provided workforce training, and offered paid jobs to public housing residents.

    District of Columbia's Solar for All
    Washington, DC | DC Department of Energy and Environment
    Solar for All is a program designed to reduce electricity bills for households in Washington, DC, through single-family and community solar projects.

    Faribault Community Solar
    Faribault, MN | Cooperative Energy Futures
    The Faribault Community Solar project is a cooperatively-owned community solar array serving mostly low-to-moderate income residents in southern Minnesota.

    JOE-4-SUN Ashland
    Ashland, MA | Citizens Energy Corporation 
    JOE-4-SUN Ashland is a 6 MW community solar project that saves low-to-moderate income households over $400 per year on electricity costs and brings the benefits of clean, renewable energy to a superfund site.

    Shungnak-Kobuk Community Solar Battery Independent Power Producer
    Shungnak, AK | Northwest Arctic Borough
    This solar and battery project led by the Shungnak and Kobuk tribes in the Northwest Arctic Borough region in Alaska aims to stabilize the cost of electricity and allow the communities to take charge of their energy future.

    Meaningful Benefit Category Special Recognition Winners

    GREATER HOUSEHOLD SAVINGS

    SharePower Community Solar Project at the Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
    Washington, D.C. | Groundswell Inc.

    Illinois Solar for All
    Champaign, IL | Illinois Power Agency

    Boston Properties - CityPoint - 500 Totten Pond
    Waltham, MA | Sunwealth Power LLC

    LMI HOUSEHOLD ACCESS

    Santa Rosa Community Solar Project
    Idyllwild, CA | GRID Alternatives

    Illinois Solar For All
    Champaign, IL | Illinois Power Agency

    White Marsh Community Solar Farm
    Kingsville, MD | Nautilus Solar Energy LLC

    COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP

    Hummingbird Community Solar Project
    Olympia, WA | Olympia Community Solar

    Oregon Shakespeare Festival Community Solar
    Talent, OR | Oregon Clean Power Cooperative

    Dividends Return Commons Model
    Oakland, CA | People Power Solar Cooperative

    RESILIENCE AND GRID BENEFITS

    Oregon Shakespeare Festival Community Solar
    Talent, OR | Oregon Clean Power Cooperative

    EQUITABLE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

    Urbana Solar
    IL | Nexamp, Urbana

    1 Catherine Street Community Solar
    Teterboro, NJ | Solar Landscape LLC

    INNOVATION IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

    Community Solar Clearinghouse Solution Program
    Chicago, IL | Metropolitan Mayors Caucus

    Hummingbird Community Solar Project
    Olympia, WA | Olympia Community Solar

    New Hampshire Solar Shares
    Plymouth, NH | Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative

    INNOVATION IN IMPACT

    Heart Butte Community Solar
    Heart Butte, MT | Bonneville Environmental Foundation

    Community Solar Clearinghouse Solution Program
    Chicago, IL | Metropolitan Mayors Caucus

    1 Catherine Street Community Solar
    Teterboro, NJ | Solar Landscape LLC

    Boston Properties - CityPoint - 500 Totten Pond
    Waltham, MA | Sunwealth Power LLC

    Citizens Imperial Solar
    Calipatria, CA | Citizens Energy Corporation

    Common Energy
    New York, NY | Common Energy

    Community Power
    Brooklyn, NY | Solar One

    Community Solar Clearinghouse Solution Program
    Chicago, IL | Metropolitan Mayors Caucus

    Dividends Return Commons Model
    Oakland, CA | People Power Solar Cooperative

    Dunbar Solar Commons
    Tucson, AZ | Solar Commons

    Faribault Community Solar
    Faribault, MN | Cooperative Energy Futures

    Haven Community Solar Project
    Saint Cloud, MN | Cooperative Energy Futures

    Heart Butte Community Solar
    Heart Butte, MT | Bonneville Environmental Foundation

    Hummingbird Community Solar Project
    Olympia, WA | Olympia Community Solar

    National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima
    Franklin, NJ | Sunwealth Power LLC

    New Hampshire Solar Shares
    Plymouth, NH | Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative

    New York City Housing Authority Solar Portfolio
    New York, NY | Sunwealth Power LLC

    Oregon Shakespeare Festival Community Solar
    Talent, OR | Oregon Clean Power Cooperative

    Santa Rosa Community Solar Project
    Idyllwild, CA | GRID Alternatives

    SharePower Community Solar Project at the Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
    Washington, D.C. | Groundswell Inc.

    Shiloh Temple Community Solar
    Minneapolis, MN | Cooperative Energy Futures

    Shungnak-Kobuk Solar Battery Independent Power Producer
    Shungnak, AK | Northwest Arctic Borough

    Solar for All
    Washington, D.C. | Department of Energy and Environment

    Temple Emunah Community Shared Solar
    Lexington, MA | Resonant Energy

    Tuckahoe Housing Authority
    Tuckahoe, NY | UGE International

    Urbana Solar
    Urbana, IL | Nexamp

    Vieques Microgrid
    Vieques Municipality, PR | Community Through Colors

    White Marsh Community Solar Farm
    Kingsville, MD | Nautilus Solar Energy LLC

    Illinois Guaranteed Savings Program
    Illinois | Clearway Community Solar

    Illinois Solar for All
    Champaign, IL | Illinois Power Agency

    JOE-4-SUN Low-Income Community Shared Solar: Ashland Solar Project
    Ashland, MA | Citizens Energy Corporation

    JOE-4-SUN Low-Income Community Shared Solar: Falmouth Solar Project
    Falmouth, MA | Citizens Energy Corporation

    Longview Garage Canopy for City of White Plains
    White Plains, NY | DSD Renewables