Community Power Accelerator Prize™ Round 2
The American-Made Community Power Accelerator Prize Round 2 is a $10 million prize competition 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 grow a robust ecosystem of community solar project developers that incorporate meaningful benefits into projects across the United States.
Structured to Accelerate Community Solar Investments
This three-phase prize aims to increase the number of equitable community solar projects by providing funding and resources for developers and co-developers throughout the project pre-development process, including:
- Tools and Resources to connect developers with private sector project financing for community solar projects using a standardized process.
- Training to understand the full cycle of community solar development, including site acquisition, community relations, customer acquisition, securing financing, costs, and the unique challenges and benefits of a community solar model.
- Free consulting services to competitors on the steps necessary to get a community solar project financed.
- Coaching on expanding developers' solar customer markets to include low- and moderate-income populations, disadvantaged communities, and local workforce development, as well as increase resilience to power outages and household savings to make community solar projects attractive to the widest range of customers possible.
By the end of the prize, competitors will be ready to engage with the Community Power Accelerator online platform, which provides a place for competitors to shop their credit-ready projects around to verified project developers, investors, and philanthropic organizations.Join the Prize
Community Power Accelerator Prize Phases
|Prize Phase||Duration||Anticipated Number of Awards||Dollar Amounts|
|Phase 1: Ready!||3 Months||Up to 25, with an expected range of 15-25||$50,000 per winning competitor (total prize pool: $1,250,000)|
|Phase 2: Set!||6 months (anticipated)||Up to 25, with an expected range of 15-20||$200,000 per winning competitor (total prize pool: $5,000,000)|
|Phase 3: Grow!||6 months (anticipated)||Up to 25, with an expected range of 10-20||$150,000 per winning competitor (total prize pool: $3,750,000)|
The Five Meaningful Benefits of Community Solar
One of the key goals of the Community Power Accelerator Prize is to support and grow a robust ecosystem of community solar project developers that incorporate meaningful benefits into projects across the United States. These benefits provided by community solar subscriptions can build consumer trust and ensure that everyone can participate in the clean energy transition.
The Community Power Accelerator Prize provides funding and resources to empower developers to deploy community solar projects that provide at least two of the following five meaningful benefits to subscribers and their communities:
- 1. Low - to moderate-income (LMI) household access
- 2. Greater household savings
- 3. Resilience and grid benefits
- 4. Community ownership
- 5. Equitable workforce development
Powering Change Beyond the Prize
This prize is part of the larger Community Power Accelerator program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy National Community Solar Partnership. It brings together investors, philanthropic organizations, developers, community-based organizations, and technical experts in one online ecosystem to accelerate the deployment of the funds needed to drive a more equitable clean energy transition.
The Community Power Accelerator online platform is creating a pipeline of credit-ready community solar projects—particularly those that provide benefits to underserved communities—and connect them with mission-aligned investors and philanthropic organizations to get funding.
The prize supports this initiative by providing funding and resources to stand up or expand community solar project development practices and develop a pipeline of multiple projects for new community solar project developers.
Who is Eligible to Compete?
The Community Power Accelerator Prize Round 2 is open to U.S. community solar developers, including new developers and experienced developers who are expanding their community solar operations.
The prize also welcomes non-developer organizations such as nonprofits, local governments, and community-based organizations to apply. Examples of new developers include (but are not limited to) organizations such as:
- Multifamily affordable housing providers
- Community-based organizations (such as local community health organizations, community action agencies, community, and economic development organizations) that have real estate portfolios and/or are in construction.
- Multifamily affordable housing providers.
- State, local, and municipal governments.
- Intermediary organizations such as community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
- General contractors with roofing and/or electrical experience.
- Socially and economically disadvantaged individual (SEDI) demographics-related business and women and minority-owned businesses.
- Other large real estate holders that could be available for solar deployment.
- Solar co-developers.
Non-developer organizations who wish to participate in the prize should seek to partner with a solar/community solar developer to support their submission.
View the official prize rules for full eligibility requirements.
Joining Round 2
Round 2 of the Community Power Accelerator Prize seeks applicants through the Oct. 4, 2023, submission deadline. Please see HeroX for a full list of dates and deadlines and follow the prize on HeroX to be notified of any updates or changes.
Solutions that help shape the future
Are you a community solar project developer looking to grow your impact? You belong here. Join the American-Made Community Power Accelerator Prize Round 2 to get started!Start Competing