Key Project Information
Period of Performance
The Solar in Your Community Challenge (SIYC) was a $5 million prize competition, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to expand solar access to underserved segments of the market, specifically low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households; non-federal governments (i.e. state, local, and tribal), and non-profit organizations. This challenge supported the creation, demonstration, and scaling of innovative, replicable, and sustainable business and financial models that could successfully unlock solar access to these underserved segments. ICMA became the prize administrator for the challenge in March 2018 to support DOE in the implementation of the project. As the prize administrator, ICMA supported the teams, coaches and marketplace consultants throughout the challenge and managed the distribution of all funds related to the challenge.
Launched in 2016, the challenge accepted 172 teams across 40 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Over the course of the 18-month period of performance (May 2017 – October 2018), the challenge provided teams with technical and financial resources to help them implement their projects. All teams received some technical assistance in the form of trainings, workshops, and coaches. 121 teams also received technical assistance vouchers to pursue additional support. A smaller set of 34 teams received direct financial resources in the form of seed funds. Upon completion of the SIYC, DOE and ICMA announced five prize winners for a total of $1 million dollars:
- The CARE Project (Denver, Colorado) - Grand Prize, $500,000 prize
- Community Solar for Community Action (Backus, Minnesota) - Runner-up, $200,000 prize
- The Kerrville Area Solar Partners (Kerrville, Texas) - Best LMI Program, $100,000 prize
- Making Energy Work for Rural Oregon (Portland, Oregon) - Best Nonprofit Project, $100,000 prize
- Fellowship Energy (Burlingame, California) - Best Nonprofit Program, $100,000 prize
In total, the winning teams proposed 25.7 megawatts of solar energy projects across the country by 2020, benefitting more than 1,200 households and 18 nonprofit organizations through significant energy cost savings and community-level solar skill building.
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