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Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar

Federal Agency


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.

Decarbonization Considerations

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:

Equity Considerations

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:

Helpful Tips

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

Other Notes

For more details on competition eligibility, see here: See 2022 Sunny Awards Winners here: See 2023 Sunny Awards Winners here:

Deadline (Announced or Anticipated)

July 14, 2023

Funding Available


Max Award Amount


Expected Allocations


Average Award (Estimated)


Matching Funds

Not required

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