Teams from 20 States and Four Tribal Nations to Receive $50,000 Each as part of Community Power Accelerator Prize
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) today announced the competitors in the second round of the Community Power Accelerator Prize, a $10 million prize competition to advance equitable community solar development. DOE selected 25 project teams who will receive $50,000 each, participate in a learning lab, and obtain technical assistance, to design their community solar portfolios and get them ready for financing. Successful teams will have access to $5 billion in private sector financing through the Community Power Accelerator to make their projects a reality.
The historic investments in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act present a momentous opportunity to deliver results and drive the benefits of clean energy to low-income and disadvantaged communities. DOE does this through initiatives like the Community Power Accelerator Prize, which helps inspiring teams bring clean energy to their communities.
Community solar is a solar project or purchasing program within a geographic area that allows all community members to access the cost-saving and public health benefits of renewable energy. The community solar sector is expected to grow by nearly 7 MW in 2024 as programs funded by the Inflation Reduction Act take effect and incentivize the development of community solar in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
NCSP’s Community Power Accelerator Prize helps develop a robust ecosystem of community solar project developers and share best practices to ensure community solar can deliver meaningful benefits like low- to moderate-income household access, greater household savings, resilience and grid benefits, community ownership, and equitable workforce development and entrepreneurship. It is designed to fast-track the efforts of new, emerging, and expanding community solar developers and co-developers to learn, participate, and grow their operations to support multiple successful community solar projects.
Teams will participate in Community Power Accelerator Learning Lab led by University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Impact Finance and, when ready, list their projects on the Community Power Accelerator’s online platform, getting visibility to the platform’s financing and philanthropic partners.
The 25 teams represent 20 states and four Tribal nations and include:
- Energy Conversation Works (Wyoming): Energy Conversation Works, a nonprofit team partnering with rural electric cooperative Lower Valley Energy, the Town of Jackson in Teton County, and Lincoln County, aims to pioneer Wyoming's first community solar projects with 1.5 megawatts (MW) across two projects.
- Hoʻāhu Energy Cooperative Molokai (Molokai, Hawaii): Hoʻāhu Energy Cooperative Molokai, a grassroots, minority- and women-led nonprofit cooperative in Molokaʻi, is advancing two 2.5 MW solar projects that seek to support 100% low- and moderate-income (LMI) subscribers with lower energy costs while also providing backup power to the community by integrating battery energy storage systems into their planned projects.
- Prosperity Works (New Mexico): Prosperity Works is a New Mexico-based minority and women-owned community organization aiming to advance economic development in LMI communities by partnering with experienced co-developers to initiate two 5 MW community solar projects.
- RAMP Solar (Los Angeles, California): RAMP Solar is a minority- and women-owned developer seeking to establish two projects totaling over 1 MW in Los Angeles’ Antelope Valley using agrivoltaics and strong connections to the veteran community in Los Angeles.
- Tribuquent (Oklahoma and Minnesota): Tribuquent, a nonprofit focused on supporting Tribal nations in clean energy development, aims to build 5 MW of community solar across two projects in Minnesota and Oklahoma.