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American-Made Challenges

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2024 Renew America's Schools Prize

Funding energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at public K-12 schools to lower energy costs and improve indoor air quality.
stage:
Informational Webinar #2
prize:
$6,900,000
more
Summary
Timeline
Updates2
Forum6
Teams389
Resources
FAQ
Summary

Background

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the $500 million Renew America’s Schools Program to promote the implementation of clean energy improvements at K-12 public schools across the country. This first-of-its-kind investment, funded by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), aims to help school communities make energy upgrades that will decrease energy use and cost, improve indoor air quality, and foster healthier learning environments.


The Renew America’s Schools program launched its first round of funding in 2022 and has since invested $182.5 million in public school districts across America. The $4.5 million Energy CLASS Prize (2022–2024) helped Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) build capacity for energy management and prepare to implement energy-infrastructure upgrades. The $178 million Renew America’s Schools grant (2022–2024) funded clean energy and energy efficiency upgrades at over 90 school facilities in 22 states—directly benefiting more than 74,000 students and 5,000 teachers.  


NOW OPEN: The 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize implements a prize-to-cooperative-agreement funding model to streamline the application process, expedite the award process, and provide winners earlier and more targeted support. Like the 2022 Renew America’s Schools grant, the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize will fund energy-efficient and clean energy infrastructure improvements at school districts across America.
 


Prize Overview

DOE is now accepting submissions for the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize, a $180 million investment in K-12 public schools across the country. This three-phase opportunity will help districts build capacity, perform energy audits, and plan/implement energy improvement projects across a portfolio of school facilities. 

 

The 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize consists of three phases. During Phase 1, competitors will build teams and curate lists of at least 10 schools and school facilities that demonstrate compelling need and eligibility for investment. Phase 1 winners will earn a cash prize of $300,000 and move on to Phases 2 and 3, during which they will enter into and execute Cooperative Agreements with DOE. 

 


Guidelines

Successful competitors will:

  1. Establish the need for both energy improvements and financing across the proposed portfolio.
  2. Demonstrate overall team capacity to manage projects across the portfolio.
  3. Propose a comprehensive plan for executing Phase 2 (energy auditing and design) activities.
  4. Engage in replicable, strategic partnerships to build capacity at LEAs/across the K-12 sector, while leveraging funds to enhance the impact of federal dollars.
  5. Establish a strategic approach to delivering community benefits that advance the following goals: 
    • Community and labor engagement.
    • Investing in job quality and workforce continuity.
    • Advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA).
    • Contributing to the Justice40 Initiative.

Questions?

  1. Review the official rules for the complete application process and instructions for competing. 
  2. Review the 2024 Renew America's Schools Fact Sheet (see 'Resources' tab in HeroX). 
  3. Review the 2024 Renew America's Schools Q&A Spreadsheet (see 'FAQ' tab in HeroX).
  4. Join one of the informational webinars (the same content will be shared across both webinars): 
  5. Join prize office hours:

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please follow this HeroX page or email us directly at

Timeline
Updates2

Challenge Updates

Attend Office Hours for the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize

April 17, 2024, 7:02 a.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

Do you have questions about the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize? Our team will host office hours on April 24 at 1 p.m. ET to highlight details about the 2024 Prize application, address eligibility questions, and more. 

Prize organizers from DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will cover the following topics during the April office hours:

  • Phases of the 2024 prize
  • Example partnership scenarios
  • Examples of eligible school facilities
  • Common questions from the Q&A

We invite local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and potential partners to attend. Register to participate on Wednesday, April 24 at 1 p.m. ET: 2024 Renew America's Schools Prize Office Hours

You are also welcome to check out the prize Factsheet, the DOE Q&A Spreadsheet and watch the  Informational Webinars for more information on the Prize and submission requirements.


Thank You for Joining the 2024 Renew America’s Schools Prize Webinar!

March 28, 2024, 8 a.m. PDT by NREL Prize Administrator

In case you missed the 2024 Renew America's Schools Prize Informational Webinars, the prize team shared key background, goals, submission requirements, and next steps for this $6.9 million prize. View the webinar recording, slides, and Q&A to learn more about the prize and find answers to your critical questions.  

A DOE Q&A Spreadsheet document is also now available on HeroX.  

Next steps: 

  • If you are interested in competing in the prize, please review the Official Prize Rules  
  • If you’d like to receive updates on the prize, click Follow on HeroX 
  • Register to join one of the two upcoming office hours  
  • Start preparing your submission and share any remaining questions to Schools@DOE.gov.

We look forward to reviewing your prize submission by June 13 at 5 p.m. ET


Forum6
Teams389
Resources
FAQ