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2023 Sunny Awards logo

2023 Sunny Awards

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

Advancing Community Solar

Community solar is any solar project or purchasing program in which the benefits of a solar project flow to multiple customers such as individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other groups within a certain geographic area. Community solar projects and programs can vary significantly in their structure, implementation, and benefits they provide.

The best practices of the projects and programs recognized by the Sunny Awards will provide a blueprint for community solar developers, state energy offices, utilities, and others to help achieve the National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) target to power the equivalent of five million households with community solar by 2025, generating $1 billion in electricity bill savings.

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Prize Structure

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) has officially launched the 2023 Sunny Awards, which offer the following prizes:

AwardNumber of AwardeesFunding Amount
Sunny Finalist AwardsUp to 30$2,500
Meaningful Benefits or Engagement AwardsUp to 15$5,000
Grand PrizesUp to 5$10,000

To apply, community solar portfolios and programs must be able to prove that they are providing meaningful benefits in at least one of the following primary Meaningful Benefit categories:

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

Additional Meaningful Benefits special recognition will be given to competitors in two engagement categories:

  • Engagement Award:Community Participation
  • Engagement Award:Inclusive Outreach

Teams will nominate either a community solar project portfolio (individual entities or portfolio teams) or state and utility program (individual entities or program teams) by submitting a narrative application and a set of appropriate, complete, and verifiable supporting evidence.

Register a Team to Get Started

Rewarding Inclusive Outreach Communication Campaigns

The Inclusive Outreach Engagement Award is a $5,000 bonus prize within the 2023 Sunny Awards. This recognition highlights best practices that set each winning portfolio and program apart, specifically in inclusive outreach efforts that increase solar adoption or workforce development growth.

Fifteen of the 30 Finalist awardees will be selected for either a Meaningful Benefit Award or an Engagement Award, but each portfolio or program may only win either a Grand Prize Award or a Meaningful Benefit/Engagement Award. Read the 2023 Sunny Awards official rules for more information.

Who is Eligible to Compete?

Competitors in the Sunny Awards must comply with the eligibility requirements outlined in the rules, including the definition of community solar, geographic location, customer type, and others. View the official rules for full eligibility requirements.

Important Dates

All dates and deadlines for the Sunny Awards can be found on the HeroX Timeline. All dates are subject to change, including contest openings, deadlines, and announcements. Sign up for updates on HeroX, the official competition platform.

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Solutions that help shape the future

Do you have a portfolio or program that employs or develops best practices to increase equitable access to community solar? You belong here. Join the Sunny Awards to get started!

Join the Competition