American-Made Challenges


Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize

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

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed


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 $1.5 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 who complete Phase Two will have the opportunity to present their progress, benefit from networking opportunities, and be eligible for the final $50,000 cash prize, awarded to one winning coalition. 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).

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


Challenge Updates

Coalition Spotlight #3: Missoula's Clean Energy Workforce Coalition

March 24, 2023, 1:45 p.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Missoula’s Clean Energy Workforce Coalition is next up in our Phase One winner spotlight. This Montana-based coalition was created by women, for women to increase access to family-supporting clean energy jobs. A win-win for everyone!

Coalition Spotlight #2: Revitalize Our Communities

March 21, 2023, 11:30 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

For our second Phase One winner spotlight, we’re focused on the Revitalize Our Communities (ROC) team from Atlanta, GA! They’ve got big plans to integrate solar and hydroponics to grow fresh produce, deliver them to low-access food areas, and grow the solar job pipeline along the way. Kudos for creativity! 

Coalition Spotlight #1: HBCU Community Development Action Coalition

March 16, 2023, 8:09 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Get to know the #CommunityCleanEnergyCoalition Prize Phase One winners who are hard at work developing plans that will help them achieve their goals of tackling energy justice in their communities! First up: HBCU Community Development Action Coalition, which is aimed at increasing awareness & opportunities around clean energy in three southern cities. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish in Phase Two!

Congratulations to the Winners of Phase One of the Prize!

Feb. 3, 2023, 8:19 a.m. PST by NREL Challenge

The successful first phase of the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize has drawn to a close. Ten teams will be awarded $30,000 each for their winning plans to form a local coalition and address a pressing energy challenge in their communities!


The official Department of Energy announcement can be found here.


The winning teams are as follows: 


Positive Energy Coalition, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Goal: Decrease the energy burdens of the historic Greenwood, North Tulsa District through solar installation, job training, and job placement.


Change is in the Air: Gresham Coalition, Multnomah County, Oregon

Goal: Address key community issues directly tied to a just energy transition, access to local air quality data, and workforce development.


The HBCU Community Development Action Coalition, Denmark, South Carolina; Orangeburg, South Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana

Goal: Utilize Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to deploy placed-based initiatives and energy-related solutions that help decrease the energy burden of nearby low- and moderate-income communities.


ReBuildATL Coalition, Atlanta, Georgia

Goal: Empower Westside Atlanta residents through workforce training, more energy-efficient homes, and renewable energy systems.


Missoula’s Clean Energy Workforce Coalition, Missoula, Montana

Goal: Work for and with low-income women, diversifying the clean energy workforce, and increasing access to family-supporting careers.


Revitalize Our Communities (ROC) Clean Energy Coalition, Atlanta, Georgia

Goal: Increase community awareness and job opportunities around solar energy and sustainable agriculture by training high school students to grow fresh fruits and vegetables through an integration of solar energy and hydroponics—then delivering them to residents in the South Fulton County food desert. 


Green Business Council, Washington, D.C.; Fresno, California; Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Las Vegas, Nevada; Navajo County, Arizona; Lumbee River, North Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Mineral County, Nevada

Goal: Solve three major energy challenges—reduce energy burden, increase access to clean energy, and create clean energy jobs—by creating and expanding a Green Business Council to deploy clean energy solutions to ten communities across the USA.


Team Philly, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Goal: Relieve energy burden, create green jobs, and develop an equitable energy transition through neighborhood energy centers.


NOLA Clean Energy Collective, New Orleans, Louisiana

Goal: Increase the accessibility of clean energy education, awareness, and training through engaging in relatable art.


Asociación de Residentes de La Margarita, Inc., Salinas, Puerto Rico

Goal: Energize at least 40% of Salinas’s elderly and low-income residents via installation of solar roofing and batteries to create a robust and resilient microgrid.


These teams were selected out of more than 70 entries to this first round of the prize for best identifying a community to serve and an energy challenge to address that is not only achievable, but also aligns with the goals of the White House’s Justice 40 initiative.

We look forward to seeing their coalitions and plans come together in Phase Two! 

Phase One Winner Announcement Update

Jan. 19, 2023, 1:07 p.m. PST by NREL Challenge

Thank you to all of the competitors in the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize! This update is to let everyone know that the winners of Phase One will be announced on February 3rd by the Department of Energy. Following that announcement, there will be a post here on HeroX detailing those winners. Phase Two will begin alongside that announcement. Thank you for your patience!

- The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize Team