The first phase of the Community Energy Innovation Prize for the Ecosystem Tracks has drawn to a close. In the CONCEPT Phase, 23 teams were awarded $100,000 each and will also receive in-kind mentorship as they move on to the PROGRESS Phase. Teams were selected based on the strength of their team, their connection to the target community, the needs of the target community, and the projected impact of their clean energy initiatives. 

These teams will now use their cash prizes in the next phase to progress their planned community activities. Teams will report on their progress in July 2024, where they will compete to receive additional cash awards and mentorship services as a part of the PROGRESS Phase. Read the official announcement from the U.S. Department of Energy. 


The Clean Energy Ecosystem Track CONCEPT Phase winners are: 


Community Through Colors, Isabel Segunda, Vieques, PR 

  • Accelerating the development of microgrids to rural and disadvantaged communities, community service centers, and local businesses to increase distribution capacity for essential services. 

Convivencia Hispana Energy Navigators, St. James, MN 

  • Developing a community energy navigator program to provide free energy audits to residents and increase clean energy capacity. 

East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) and Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF), Minneapolis, MN 

  • Building a solar array on a former superfund site that is member-owned by neighbor residents. 

First State Community Green Energy Coalition, Wilmington, DE 

  • Building a Community Clean Energy Hub powered by solar, that provides workforce training and clean energy jobs for a Justice40 community. 

Innovate Gloucester, Gloucester, MA 

  • Deploying advanced clean energy technology at the local high school to benefit Justice40 communities. 

LEI Foundation Energize Wai’anae Moku, Wai’anae, HI 

  • Growing the Energy Warriors program through a series of workshops and events and identifying priorities to co-design an energy project. 

People Power: Energy Security | Ownership, Fort Smith, AR 

  • Bringing the r benefits of clean energy to Fort Smith’s disadvantaged neighborhoods via solar installations on community centers. 

Pomona, CA – Direct-to-Renter Clean Energy Program, Pomona, CA 

  • Engaging low-income renters to co-create a direct-to-renter clean energy program that is scalable and transferrable nationwide. 

Project:HOMES, Tangier, VA 

  • Serving the remote, climate-vulnerable community of Tangier Island with weatherization services and building a network of trained contractors. 

RESCo Innovation Team, Rosebud Sioux Reservation, SD 

  • Coordinating clean energy efforts in transportation, finance, efficiency, and renewable and workforce development for the local community. 

Requity Foundation, Baltimore, MD 

  • Breaking down barriers between vocational education and the clean energy workforce through a variety of projects engaging the local community. 

Shake Energy Collaborative, Honolulu, HI 

  • Supporting historically disinvested communities in Hawai’i to co-design renewable energy projects and bid for upcoming utility procurements. 

Team Bean, New Orleans, LA 

  • Engaging youth in the decision-making process, planning, and funding of energy resilience projects and programming. 


The Manufacturing Ecosystem Track CONCEPT Phase winners are: 


APLUS, Arlington, TX 

  • Providing hands-on power electronic training to underserved students, while bridging the gap between lab learning and job searching. 

CEIP Warren, Warren, OH 

  • Combining manufacturing skills education with energy entrepreneurship, while fostering a vibrant hub of inclusivity and innovation. 

Clean Tech Innovation Network, Chicago, IL 

  • Supporting manufacturing-based innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation for women and BIPOC to support grid modernization. 

Eighth Generation Consulting, Pawhuska, OK 

  • Supporting a solar recycling startup and empowering Indigenous communities through training, while blending traditional wisdom with economic growth objectives. 

Green Leap Riverside, Riverside County, CA 

  • Empowering manufacturers to reduce energy use and foster collaboration for a clean and sustainable future in Riverside County. 

IMPACTT, Evansville, IN 

  • Supporting economic development through entrepreneurial education, fostering manufacturing talent pipelines, and community engagement. 

Metals Innovation Initiative (MI2), Four Counties in KY 

  • Revitalizing Kentucky metals manufacturing by implementing clean energy conversion, statewide recycling, and innovative workforce solutions in former coal communities. 

PDX Clean Industry Network, Portland, OR 

  • Supporting sustainable solutions to jumpstart an industrial symbiosis ecosystem in Portland’s Columbia Corridor. 

Scale for ClimateTech, New York State 

  • Bringing the Climate Equity Module to centers in NY state and fostering a shared vision of equitable innovation. 

Southland Development Authority Team, Tinley Park, IL 

  • Creating  an engineering internship program, a cutting-edge manufacturing facility, and clean energy industry partnerships 

Congratulations, Collegiate Track PROGRESS Phase Winners! 


The second phase of the Community Energy Innovation Prize Collegiate Track has drawn to a close. In the PROGRESS Phase, three winners were awarded an additional $20,000 each, via their Community Partner, and in-kind mentorships as they move on to the final IMPACT Phase.  


The Collegiate Track PROGRESS Phase winners are: 


Greener CASA, Tyler, TX 

  • Creating an academia-community partnership to bring free energy audits to underserved communities and promote energy efficiency. 

GreenSynergy, Houston, TX 

  • Integrating clean energy into education — utilizing solar panels, fuel cells, and other technologies to foster learning and inspire the future clean energy workforce. 

Solar Decathlon at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA 

  • Designing and building a net-zero home to address energy challenges, develop a green workforce, and train the next generation of sustainable professionals in Westside Atlanta.


Thank you to all competitors for your participation in the Community Energy Innovation Prize!