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Community Power Accelerator Prize: Accessing Capital to Deploy Equitable Community Solar – Round 2

Open Date:

7/14/2023

Close Date:

10/4/2023

Upcoming Milestones:

Phase One closes October 4, 2023.

Phase Two will open in January 2024.

Eligible Recipients:

Program Purpose:

  • Energy Infrastructure

Reserved for Energy
Communities?

No

Bureau/Office

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy

Overview

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.

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.

Related Resources

Additional information is available on the Resources page.
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