Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar
Solar Energy and Technologies Office (SETO)
To recognize community solar projects and programs that employ or develop best practices to increase equitable access to the meaningful benefits of community solar for subscribers and their communities.
Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements
The Team Lead must be able to receive payments that are legally made from the U.S. in U.S. dollars or designate a team member that can. To receive prize money, the Team Lead must be a member of the National Community Solar Partnership. Projects must have been energized and subscribed for at least 6 months prior to nomination in order to be eligible.
Community solar is 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 projects and programs can vary significantly in their structure, implementation, and benefits they provide. Consider best practices discussed in Community Solar+ when designing and planning projects: https://rmi.org/introducing-community-solar-the-next-generation-of-community-solar/
Given the challenges of realizing a just energy transition within the confines of a climate crisis, community solar models can provide additional value streams that benefit both the community and the grid — encouraging a more equitable future. Learn more here: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy21osti/79548.pdf
There are two Innovation Categories: Community Engagement and Impact. Prize awards vary: $2,500 each for Finalist Awards, $5,000 each for Meaningful Benefits or Engagement Awards, $10,000 each for Grand Price Awards
For more details on competition eligibility, see here: https://americanmadechallenges.org/challenges/sunnyawards/docs/Sunny_Awards_Official_Prize_Rules.pdf See 2022 Sunny Awards Winners here: https://www.energy.gov/communitysolar/2022-sunny-awards-equitable-community-solar See 2023 Sunny Awards Winners here: https://www.energy.gov/communitysolar/2023-sunny-awards-equitable-community-solar