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American-Made Challenges

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Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize

Encourages and recognizes coalitions that are addressing environmental inequities and energy challenges among disadvantaged communities.

This challenge is closed

stage:
Phase Three Winner Announcement and Awards
prize:
$2,135,000

This challenge is closed

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Summary

Overview

The goal of the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize is to help community coalitions—made up of nonprofits, city governments, school systems, and other community organizations—come together to develop a strategy to address a local clean energy opportunity or inequity. Strategies may include student education, workforce trainings, or implementation of new technologies that align with the goals of the White House’s Justice40 Initiative. 

 

The prize seeks to carry out the directives of the Justice40 Initiative by identifying and supporting: 

  • Newly partnered or existing community-based coalitions that have recently committed to helping underrepresented communities address energy challenges and implement clean energy solutions.
  • Further development of relevant in-community coalitions executing projects that are consistent with the Justice40 Initiative and EERE’s focus on clean energy technologies and implementation.
  • Long-term engagement by the relevant in-community coalitions on energy challenges on behalf of the communities served.

 

About the Justice40 Initiative

Section 223 of Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, established the Justice40 Initiative, which directs 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments—including investments in clean energy and energy efficiency; clean transit; affordable and sustainable housing; training and workforce development; remediation and reduction of legacy pollution; and the development of clean water infrastructure—to flow to disadvantaged communities.

 

The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize consists of three phases, with a total available prize pool of $2.135 million. Prizes are available to multiple coalition winners in Phase One and Phase Two. The prize will conclude after Phase Three, with a Community Summit Event. At this event, all competitors will have the opportunity to present their progress, benefit from networking opportunities, and be eligible for the final prize awards. Philanthropy partners may also be invited to make connections with coalitions.

 

The competition is open to coalitions of one or more partners anchored by a community-based not-for-profit organization that are: (1) new coalitions established on or after the date of this announcement or (2) existing coalitions that have established a new or amended mission on or after the date of this announcement. 

 

The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize was established by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The prize is part of the American-Made Challenges family of prizes and is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).


Guidelines

Please review the official rules  for the complete application process and instructions for competing.

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by using the contact feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at CleanEnergyCoalition@nrel.gov.

Timeline
Updates27

Challenge Updates

Summit Recap, and Thank You!

Jan. 2, 2024, 7:23 a.m. PST by NREL Prize Administrator

The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize has drawn to a close, and Power Connector CEBN has put together an event recap where you can read all about the prize's Summit in Atlanta showcasing the ten teams and their accomplishments, as well as the event presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities.

Thank you to CEBN for organizing and managing this event, and thank you to all of our prize competitors for your ideas and hard work. Keep an eye on American-Made Challenges for more opportunities to supercharge the clean energy revolution!


Congratulations to the Winners of the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize!

Dec. 7, 2023, 1:47 p.m. PST by NREL Prize Administrator

After an exciting two-day summit, prize administrators announced that all 10 competing teams were awarded $25,000 each for successfully accomplishing the goals of the final phase of the prize! 

The winning teams are as follows: 

  • Weku, Inc. (Positive Energy Coalition), Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Change is in the Air: Gresham Coalition, Multnomah County, Oregon
  • HBCU Community Development Action Coalition, Denmark, South Carolina; Orangeburg, South Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana
  • ReBuildATL Coalition, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Missoula’s Clean Energy Workforce Coalition, Missoula, Montana
  • ROC Community Clean Energy Coalition, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dream Entrepreneurs Network, Fresno, California; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Las Vegas, Nevada; Savannah, Georgia; San Bernardino, CA
  • Team Philly, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
  • New Orleans Clean Energy Collective, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Asociación de Residentes de La Margarita, Inc., Salinas, Puerto Rico

In addition, the following three teams were named top performers and earned additional awards. 

  • Asociación de Residentes de La Margarita, Inc, awarded an additional $50,000 
  • Missoula’s Clean Energy Workforce Coalition, awarded an additional $25,000 
  • Team Philly, awarded an additional $10,000 

The prize’s goal was to incentivize the creation of these community coalitions, and to develop strategies such as student education, workforce training, capacity building, and implementation of new technologies that address a local clean energy opportunity or inequity. We look forward to seeing the continued success of these teams as they build on their wins and continue to impact their communities!


Have You Registered Yet for the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize Summit?

Nov. 14, 2023, 2:42 p.m. PST by NREL Prize Administrator

If you’re planning to join the CCEC Prize Summit Dec. 6–7 in Atlanta, Georgia, make sure you’re registered and ready to go! 

Though only one member from each winning team will be presenting their team’s final pitch, all team members are welcome and encouraged to attend—as are other stakeholders interested in this valuable networking and knowledge-sharing opportunity. 

Over the course of the two-day event, participants will hear from speakers from a variety of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offices—all sharing the ways DOE is committed to advancing an inclusive, equitable clean energy future. Participants will also learn more about the myriad funding opportunities available from DOE for equitable clean energy projects.

 

Event Details 

Dec. 6: Stakeholders—including community organizers, government leaders, advocates, philanthropists, innovators, investors, students, and other changemakers—will participate in moderated roundtables and workshops to promote dialogue and knowledge-sharing on strategies to equitably advance clean energy. 

Dec. 7: CCEC winners will present on their final progress and compete for additional cash prizes! The winners will be announced that afternoon.   

See the event registration page to register and get complete details. 

The Summit is free and open to the public; please feel free to pass along this invitation to colleagues or partners that may be interested. 

We hope to see you there! 


Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize Summit – Dec. 6-7, 2023 in Atlanta, GA

Oct. 12, 2023, 2:07 p.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

Join us at the Community Clean Energy Coalition (CCEC) Prize Summit, taking place December 6-7, 2023, at the Atlanta University Center. This event will showcase the 10 winning coalition teams awarded by the Department of Energy for their work in addressing a local clean energy opportunity or inequity.

  • Day one of the event will include federal funding and stakeholder workshops for prospective applicants to other American-Made prizes and DOE programs. We encourage those with expertise and experience in financing, stakeholder engagement, or government programs to attend.
  • Day two will showcase the progress of the CCEC coalitions as they compete for additional cash prizes.
  • The event is free, open to the public, and will offer ample opportunities to network with the teams and other attendees. Register now: https://bit.ly/ccec-summit

We hope to see you there!


Exciting Opportunities for Community Coalitions!

Aug. 10, 2023, 6:57 a.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

Hello CCEC Teams,

 

Remember that registration is now open for the ten winning teams from Phase Two to participate in the Summit this December in Atlanta. Please coordinate with your Team Captain to access that link and make your travel plans!

 

Additionally, your Power Connector the Clean Energy Business Network (CEBN) has compiled JEDI-specific opportunities that you may be interested in. Take a look!

 

  • MAKE IT Prize Strategies Track - The MAKE IT Prize Strategies Track supports communities creating a roadmap for promoting clean energy manufacturing activity in their regions. Apply by Oct 18.
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF): Solar for All - Through this competition, Solar for All will award up to 60 grants to states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits to expand the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities primed for residential solar investment—enabling millions of low-income households to access affordable, resilient, and clean solar energy. Notices of Intent are due Aug 18. The GGRF also has two other funding opportunities: The National Clean Investment Fund and the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator.
  • Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhood Grant Program - Funds community-led projects that mitigate physical barriers to mobility and access. The Neighborhood Access and Equity Program similarly funds projects that remove physical barriers as well as projects to improve walkability, safety, and affordable transportation access, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities. Apply by Sep 27.
  • Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program - Under PACE, USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will forgive up to 60% of loans for renewable energy projects that use wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, or biomass, as well as renewable energy storage projects. At least 50% of the population served by your proposed renewable energy project must live in communities with populations of 20,000 or fewer. Letters of interest are due Sept 29.
  • Green Power Ventures - Seeks to accelerate climate resilience in communities significantly affected by climate change by providing de-risked long-term cash flows, reduce greenhouse gases and facility management costs, and grow jobs and economic development in disadvantaged communities.
  • Climate Ready Workforce for Coastal and Great Lakes States, Tribes, and Territories Initiative - Sea Grant and the NOAA Climate Program Office seek to establish programs aimed at placing people across the country into good jobs that advance climate resilience. NOAA envisions making between 10-20 awards under this competition, at amounts ranging from $500k-$10M each for 2–4-year projects. Letters of Intent are due Nov 30.

We hope these opportunities are helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

CCEC Team


Forum14
Teams478
Entries
Resources
FAQ