DOE Makes $200,000 Available for Community Solar Projects

April 21, 2023 by TWN Staff
DOE Makes $200,000 Available for Community Solar Projects

WASHINGTON — The second round of the American-Made Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar, which offers $200,000 to community solar projects and programs that employ best practices in delivering meaningful benefits to their subscribers and communities, is underway, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Sunny Awards is a prize competition that recognizes community solar project portfolios and state-, utility-, municipal-, tribal-, or territory-led programs that employ or develop best practices to increase equitable access to the meaningful benefits of community solar, according to a press release from the department.

These benefits include low- to moderate-income household access, greater household savings, increased resilience, community ownership, and equitable workforce development and entrepreneurship. 

Community solar is defined by DOE as “any solar project or purchasing program in which the benefits of a solar project flow to multiple customers, such as individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other groups, within a certain geographic area.” 

Community solar allows community members to access the meaningful benefits of renewable energy, particularly those with low to moderate incomes, renters, and those for whom traditional rooftop solar is unavailable.

Applications for the prize competition are due July 14 at 5 p.m.

This program, along with the $10 million Community Power Accelerator Prize competition, which aims to establish a strong, nation-wide network of community solar project developers, contribute to President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that every community benefits from the clean energy transition and underscores the administration’s commitment to expanding access to affordable renewable energy across America. 

“Ensuring every community has access to the benefits from affordable clean energy resources like solar is key to President Biden’s vision of an equitable clean energy future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, in a written statement. 

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