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

Phase Three Winner Announcement and Awards

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 $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).


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

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:

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!


Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize Featured in American-Made Blog

June 26, 2023, 12:27 p.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

The unique coalition-based format of the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize is the highlight of a new blog from the American-Made team. 

The blog talks about how the concept of the prize—rewarding coalitions of community stakeholders rather than individuals or teams—came to be, and how this prize is different than others in the American-Made portfolio. Several teams and their work are featured in the blog.

Head to LinkedIn to read the blog and learn more about how this prize could influence future competitions! 


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, but it’s quick and easy. Just click the “Solve this Challenge” button on this page and follow the instructions to complete your registration. All you need to provide is your name and email address.

If you have a question not answered in the FAQ, we recommend that you post it in the Forum where someone will respond to you. This way, others who may have the same question will be able to see it.

You can also send an email to

The competition is open to coalitions (partners anchored by at least one community-based not-for profit organization) that are: (1) established on or after the date of this announcement (new coalitions) or (2) existing coalitions that establish a new or amended mission on or after the date of this announcement. Further, all competitors are subject to the following conditions and requirements: 

  • An individual prize competitor or group of competitors who are not competing as part of an incorporated private entity must all be United States citizens or legal permanent residents. 
  • Private entities that are incorporated must be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States with majority domestic ownership and control. 
  • Individuals competing as part of an incorporated private entity may participate if they are legally permitted to work in the United States. 
  • DOE employees, employees of sponsoring organizations, members of their immediate families (e.g., spouses, children, siblings, or parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in the prize. 
  • Individuals who worked at DOE (federal employees or support service contractors) within six months prior to the submission deadline of any contest are not eligible to participate in the prize.
  • Federal entities and federal employees are not eligible to participate in any portion of the prize. 
  • DOE national laboratory employees are not eligible to participate in the prize. 
  • Entities and individuals publicly banned from doing business with the U.S. government such as entities and individuals debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participating in Federal programs are not eligible to participate in the prize.
  • Entities and individuals identified as a restricted party on one or more screening lists of Department of Commerce, State and the Treasury are not eligible to participate in the prize. See Consolidated Screening List.
  • Individuals participating in foreign government talent recruitment programs of foreign countries of risk[1] are not eligible to participate in the prize. Further, teams that include individuals participating in foreign government talent recruitment programs of foreign countries of risk1F are not eligible to participate in the prize.   
  • As part of your submission to this prize program, you will be required to sign the following statement: 

I am providing this submission package as part of my participation in this prize. I understand that I am providing this submission to the Federal Government. I certify under penalty of perjury that the named competitor meets the eligibility requirements for this prize competition and complies with all other rules contained in the Official Rules document. I further represent that the information contained in the submission is true and contains no misrepresentations. I understand false statements or misrepresentations to the Federal Government may result in civil and/or criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and § 287.

In keeping with the goal of growing a community of innovators, competitors are encouraged to form multidisciplinary teams while developing their concept. Applications are submitted through the HeroX  platform, which also provides a space where parties interested in collaboration can post information about themselves and review information posted by other entities that may be interested in competing in this contest. 


[1] This prize competition is expected to positively impact U.S. economic competitiveness. Participation in a foreign government talent recruitment program could conflict with this objective by resulting in unauthorized transfer of scientific and technical information to foreign government entities. Foreign government talent recruitment program is defined as an effort directly or indirectly organized, managed, or funded by a foreign government to recruit science and technology professionals or students (regardless of citizenship or national origin, and whether having a full-time or part-time position). Some foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs operate with the intent to import or otherwise acquire from abroad, sometimes through illicit means, proprietary technology or software, unpublished data and methods, and intellectual property to further the military modernization goals and/or economic goals of a foreign government. Many, but not all, programs aim to incentivize the targeted individual to physically relocate to the foreign state for the above purpose. Some programs allow for or encourage continued employment at U.S. research facilities or receipt of Federal research funds while concurrently working at and/or receiving compensation from a foreign institution, and some direct participants not to disclose their participation to U.S. entities. Compensation could take many forms including cash, research funding, complimentary foreign travel, honorific titles, career advancement opportunities, promised future compensation, or other types of remuneration or consideration, including in-kind compensation. Currently, the countries of risk are Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China.

Innovation is about making ideas happen. The American-Made Network will accelerate and sustain clean energy innovation through a diverse and powerful network that includes national laboratories, energy incubators, facilities, and other valuable industry partners from across the U.S. who will engage, connect, mentor, and boost the efforts of Community Clean Energy Coalition competitors.

See who is in the network.

Power Connector organizations are a core group of Connectors that will work alongside NREL to implement parts of the program and secure additional resources and partners.

Discover who they are and how they will help innovators succeed.

If you encounter an issue when attempting to submit an entry to the challenge, you may need to contact HeroX or the Prize Administrator.

You may try to connect with HeroX using the online form which appears in the bottom right corner of your browser window, it says Leave a Message.

You may also send a message to the Prize Administrator inbox at

Please allow at least 1 business day for a response.

All of your files are uploaded as part of the submission form, access this by clicking the Begin Entry button.  The submission form contains an upload option for each of the required file entries.  Only PDF files will be accepted for upload.

Only a non-profit coalition anchor will receive cash prizes. Upon submission, Team Captains must enter the legal name of the entity they wish to receive the full award payment. It is up to the coalition to decide how to divide any awards based on their preferences and agreements.