Solar In Your Community Challenge

The Solar in Your Community Challenge is a $5 million contest sponsored by the U.S. DOE’s SunShot Initiative to support innovative and replicable community-based solar business models and programs that will bring solar to underserved communities.

“The thrust of the team work is on projects to make solar more available to low and moderate (LMI) income households,” says Anne Tazewell, Special Projects Manager at the Center. Teams will design and deploy scalable local solar projects/programs (25-5,000 kW) in 18 months (May 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018) with customer bases consisting of at least 20 percent LMI or 60 percent non-profit.

These teams, which can be made up of local government entities, non-profit organizations, non-political, non-commercial community-based groups, citizen associations with or without a formal 501(c) status, public housing agencies recognized by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and for-profit organizations, vie for a grand prize of $500,000.

The Center’s involvement comes in the form of “Consultant,” bringing together a dream team including the Policy, Finance, and Clean Power & Industrial Efficiency (CPIE) departments for team’s to [use].

Tazewell entered the Center’s diverse portfolio for consideration into this closed circuit marketplace in April. “We are offering services such as conducting a feasibility analysis on your project,” she says. In addition, “we could do a review of policies.” She adds that having a nationally renowned policy and incentives database (DSIRE – the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) is “a big advantage [to our credibility]. We’ve got name brand recognition across the country.”