Round 2 of the American-Made Community Power Accelerator Prize: Accessing Capital to Deploy Equitable Community Solar launched in July 2023. The $10 million prize from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is designed to fast-track the efforts of new, emerging, and expanding solar developers and co-developers to learn, participate, and grow their operations to support multiple successful community solar projects. The goal of this prize is to expand a robust ecosystem of community solar project developers that incorporate meaningful benefits into projects across the United States.
The Community Power Accelerator Prize aims to help achieve the National Community Solar Partnership’s (NCSP’s) goal to enable enough community solar to power the equivalent of 5 million households and create $1 billion in household savings by 2025, by addressing the lack of expertise, capacity, and pre-development funds for community solar developers, and accelerating a pipeline of projects with meaningful benefits.
- Round 2 launched on July 14, 2023.
- Informational webinars for potential applicants will be held on August 8 at 3 p.m. ET and September 19 at 3 p.m. ET.
- Applications are due on October 4, 2023.
- Phase 1 opens on July 14, 2023
- Phase 1 winners are expected to be announced in December 2023.
- Phase 2 will open in January 2024.
- Phase 2 winners are expected to be announced in June - August 2024.
How it Works
Download the rules for Round 2 of the Prize.
The prize consists of three phases—Ready!, Set!, and Grow!—with up to 25 winners selected in each round. Individually, each competitor can win up to $400,000 over the course of the prize:
- Ready! Contest winners each receive $50,000
- Set! Contest winners can earn up to $200,000 in cash prizes
- Grow! Contest winners can earn up to $150,000 in cash prizes
These cash prizes will enable mission-aligned developers to expand their staff and operations and design and deploy multiple community solar projects. The projects will use replicable business models and prioritize equitable access to expand community solar and drive new capital to community solar across the country.
To be recognized by the Community Power Accelerator Prize, competitors must show notable progress in project pre-development activities. These include designing, financing, incorporating equity, and enabling access to at least two Meaningful Benefits identified by NCSP: low- to moderate-income household access, greater household savings, increased resilience, community ownership, and equitable workforce development.
- Learn more about the Community Power Accelerator Prize.
- Download the rules for the competition.
- Learn about the Round 1 prize contestants.