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

Judging 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

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

Final Reminders for the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize

Dec. 1, 2022, 9:49 a.m. PST by NREL Challenge

The Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize deadline is less than one week away, Wednesday, December 7th! Community-based organizations from across the country and invited to submit their plans for a coalition, community to be served, and Justice40 Initiative priority(ies) to be addressed for a chance to win up to $30,000 in Phase One, and an additional $165,000 across Phase Two and Three.

As a reminder, a complete submission includes an introduction video, a cover page, a written narrative, and a summary PowerPoint slide.

Need more information? View the official prize rules or watch the informational webinar recording to learn more.

Submission deadline approaching! Gather your Coalition and make change in your community!

Nov. 21, 2022, 8:34 a.m. PST by NREL Challenge

The deadline for Phase One of the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize is December 7th! There is still plenty of time for competitors to create and submit their plans for their coalition, their community to be served, and their Justice40 Initiative priority to be addressed.

See the official rules for a breakdown of the submission materials, and remember that there are three Power Connectors who hold office hours and would love to discuss and support your plans!

Power Connectors contact information:



Best of luck to all competitors!

Power Connectors Host Workshop and Teaming Event

Oct. 24, 2022, 11:38 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Join Clean Energy Business Network and Browning the Green Space on October 27 from 2-3:30pm ET to learn about the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize, a funding opportunity for nonprofit-led community coalitions addressing environmental inequities and energy challenges among disadvantaged communities. 

A panel featuring community leaders will explore strategies for effectively building and engaging coalitions around climate and environmental justice goals. We will explain the prize goals, eligibility, and the application process. This will be followed by an interactive networking/teaming session to help attendees meet potential coalition partners.

Register here:

Informational Webinar Now Available

Oct. 24, 2022, 7:25 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

If you missed the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize Informational Webinar last week, you can now stream the recording to catch up on all the details for the $1.5 million prize. During the presentation, prize administrators covered everything you need to know about competing, including timelines, deliverables, and prize rules. Anyone interested in submitting their proposal by the December 7 deadline is encouraged to watch the recording before applying.