Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize

OverviewPhase OnePhase TwoWhat‘s Your Vision?

Phase One

From tribal nations to urban centers, rural towns to suburban America, and high schoolers to college students, teams competing in Phase One focused on communities from every corner of the nation, demonstrating their commitment to building an inclusive innovation ecosystem and putting people at the center of clean energy and climate justice.

In May 2022, DOE announced 18 winners of Phase One of the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize. Each winning organization received cash awards of $200,000 each and are eligible to participate in Phase Two of the prize. The following teams will spend the next 12 months carrying out the activities described in their impact plans:

Accelerating the Impact of Diverse Entrepreneurs,
Washington, D.C.

The American Council on Renewable Energy will expand and grow their Accelerate Program, focused on emerging Black, Indigenous, and people of color leaders in the clean tech/renewable energy space, manage the C-suite mentorship program, and release a series of case studies to amplify and promote the best practices and lessons learned in building up diverse founders in the clean tech field.

Alabama Energy Transformation Initiative,
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

The University of Alabama and Energy Alabama will work together to provide education programs to expose, train, and recruit minority students into clean energy and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields through energy assessment trainings and field trips.

Clean Energy Restoration for Rural Alaska Villages,
Anchorage, Alaska

The Tebughna Foundation aims to create opportunities for Alaskan indigenous communities to develop clean and affordable energy resources based on traditional principles of land stewardship and will create a handbook for equitable clean energy deployment in Alaskan Native Villages.

Central Valley Innovation Ecosystem,
Fresno, California

The Water, Energy and Technology Center at California State University, Fresno, will create and manage a regionwide college-level program that matches students with climate- and energy-focused startups and provides technical assistance and advisory services to entrepreneurs and startups in underserved communities.

Community Engagement for a Clean Energy Economy,
Bethesda, Maryland

Two organizations, One Montgomery Green and Bethesda Green, will work with the community to create an equitable and actionable carbon reduction roadmap, run entrepreneurship training programs, and facilitate community collaborations for clean energy transition initiatives.

Creative Collaborations Build Thriving Communities,
New York, New York

Soulful Synergy will expand its existing Clean Energy Academy workforce training program to recruit and train participants from disadvantaged communities at no cost and ultimately build a more diverse workforce that’s equipped to meet the challenges of the Justice40 Initiative.

Empowering the Future Energy Workforce,
Richland, Washington

Washington State University Tri-Cities will develop new academic programs, research collaborations, and entrepreneurial activities in clean energy and climate innovation, including a research-based course with industry mentors and incubator integration aimed at engaging, retaining, and empowering Hispanic/LatinX students.

Energy Profiles Build Community Energy Resilience,
Utuado, Puerto Rico

Data Miners for the Mountains will develop a heat map of regions in Puerto Rico to show where energy resiliency projects can make the most impact; identify locations to collect high-resolution energy consumption data; empower rural, mountain villages in Puerto Rico to take control of a clean energy future by installing rooftop solar and storage systems, starting with businesses and community service centers.

Feed the Second Line: Get Lit, Stay Lit,
New Orleans, Louisiana

Feed the Second Line will pilot solar-powered-plus-storage microgrid installations and an apprenticeship program to in local restaurants to serve as disaster relief hubs.

Green Door Initiative,
Detroit, Michigan

The Green Door Initiative will mitigate energy insecurity, increase access to climate-smart job training and job placement/hiring for underrepresented residents (including returning citizens), and establish an environmental justice model that can be replicated in other communities and states.

Imani Green Works! Community Justice & Innovation,
Chicago, Illinois

Imani Green Works is a coalition of nine organizations working to create a minority-owned, minority-managed company to provide clean energy workforce development programs for historically disenfranchised residents of Chicago’s Pullman Community and Washington Heights neighborhoods and conduct community workshops to foster grassroots innovation in climate smart projects.

Increase Battery Work Force Development,
Atlanta, Georgia

NanoResearch will increase participation of disadvantaged groups in battery research, workforce development, and entrepreneurship for job and wealth creation; increase access for marginalized communities to secure more state and federal funding for battery storage growth, and electric vehicles.

Native Sun REZ Network,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Native Sun will create the Reservation Energy Zone (REZ) Network: a network of tribes seeking to share information, support, and opportunities; promote community electric vehicle charging, workforce training, and weatherization and rooftop solar panels; connect communities to investors and the federal government.

New Haven Eco-Entrepreneurship Creative Lab,
New Haven, Connecticut

Gather New Haven will recruit young entrepreneurs to participate in the New Haven Eco-Entrepreneurship Creative Lab to develop equitable clean energy solutions and enable the students to pitch climate-related technology projects to increase community engagement and acceptance.

Path to Tribal Energy Sovereignty,
Pine Ridge, South Dakota

Red Cloud Renewable will provide tribal communities with the workforce and entrepreneurship training, technology know-how, and resources to drive solar and other renewable energy projects on tribal lands.

SEEEDing Knoxville’s Just Energy Ecosystem,
Knoxville, Tennessee

The nonprofit Socially Equally Energy Efficient Development (SEEED) aims to design a community-driven just energy ecosystem, encourage distribution of clean energy benefits to the community and develop clean energy jobs training for disadvantaged youth.

Solar Utilization and Commercialization Coalition for Energy Efficiency Devices,
Edinburg, Texas

A coalition of professionals, organizations, and academic institutions that support startups and entrepreneurs will work to bolster the solar manufacturing industry in Texas and support startups in the industry to build economic potential in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Xcelerating“ Black Climate Startups in Portland,
Portland, Oregon

NWX Launch will carry out climate justice-related community building activities, work on science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics workforce development, run an entrepreneur accelerator program consisting of startup development and incubation, design and develop facilities for hands-on workforce training, and provide incubator and maker spaces.

Solutions that help shape the future

Are you a thinker, entrepreneur, facility or potential partner? Anyone with an innovative idea can help promote transformation by participating in the American-Made Challenges.

View the Phase One submissions on HeroX