The Solar in Your Community Challenge (SIYC) is a $5 million prize competition, funded by 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 supports the creation, demonstration, and scaling of innovative, replicable, and sustainable business and financial models that can successfully unlock solar access to these underserved segments. ICMA became the prize administrator of the challenge in March 2018 to support DOE in the implementation of the project. ICMA’s role as the prize administrator is to support the teams, coaches and marketplace consultants throughout the challenge and manage 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 at least 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. Once the SIYC is complete, DOE will select five teams for the final prizes totaling $1 million dollars.
The period of performance ended on October 31, 2018. Teams were invited to complete their final prize applications to be eligible for $1 million of final prizes. DOE and ICMA plan to announce winners in spring of 2019.