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Solar in Your Community Challenge

Bringing solar to all Americans

The Solar in Your Community Challenge is a $5 million contest to support innovative and replicable community-based solar business models and programs that will bring solar to underserved communities.

The Solar in Your Community Challenge

The Solar in Your Community Challenge will help to bring solar to all Americans, especially underserved communities using the following model.


Low and moderate income (LMI) households represent 40% of America’s population, but less than 5% of all solar customers. LMI households, non-profits, and government organizations face several barriers to going solar, including limited financing options, low or no credit history, and lack of access to the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit.

Call to Action

We call on innovators around the country to team up with key stakeholders in local communities and explore, pilot, and scale up new models that will create new solar markets for low and moderate income households, non-profits, and local governments.

Get Involved

Form a team to design and deploy scalable community-based solar projects or programs, up to 5MW in 18 months that serve at least 20% LMI households or 60% non-profits. Teams must register on the platform to join and then submit an application to participate. Projects and programs must be completed between 5/02/17 – 10/31/18.

Win Prizes

Teams will compete for a $500,000 Grand Prize for most effectively demonstrating an innovative and scalable solar model. DOE will grant up to $5 million in cash prizes and technical assistance throughout the competition with up to $2 million in seed prizes, $2 million technical assistance, and $1 million in final prizes.