June 9, 2023

American-Made Challenge empowers Multnomah County coalition to work toward clean energy solutions

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Change Is In the Air: Gresham Coalition, in addition to nine other teams participating in the inaugural American-Made Community Clean Energy Coalition (CCEC) Prize, will be awarded $150,000 for successfully completed Phase Two of the CCEC Prize, a multiphase competition. 

Change is in the Air: Gresham Coalition, includes Multnomah County, Blueprint Foundation, City of Gresham, NOSO Environmental, Jacobs Engineering, Neighbors for Clean Air, Sensorbot, and A Stella Visual. The Gresham Coalition’s mission is to reduce pollution burdens in under-resourced communities through data-driven solutions while developing a clean energy workforce. Their goals include:

  • Goal #1: Recruit workforce development cohort of 18 students and mentors.

  • Goal #2: Install community air quality sensors and share data on a community-owned platform.

The CCEC Prize aims to develop partnerships between organizations within communities to address energy and sustainability challenges. The goal of the prize, one of several DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) initiatives focused on justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, is to recognize and encourage coalitions assisting underrepresented communities to address local energy challenges with clean, renewable solutions.

"Underrepresented communities face disproportionately high energy costs and often struggle to access new clean energy technologies," said Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alejandro Moreno. "This prize is an example of a tool the Energy Department is using to help these communities see the benefits of current climate and energy investments, to minimize energy burdens for all Americans, and to support the transition to a clean energy economy."

Phases of the CCEC Prize

Phase One: Through the CCEC Prize, EERE challenged participants to develop community coalitions—made up of nonprofits, city governments, school systems, and other community organizations. 

Phase Two: Once the coalitions were in place, teams were tasked with developing an implementation plan to address a local clean energy opportunity or inequity. Strategies varied widely and included student education, workforce training, and identifying new technologies that align with the goals of the White House's Justice40 Initiative.

Phase Three: All participating teams will begin implementing their plans, including:

  • Weku, Inc. (formerly Positive Energy Coalition), Tulsa, OK

  • Change is in the Air: Gresham Coalition, Multnomah County, OR

  • HBCU Green Town Project (formerly HBCU Community Development Action Coalition), Denmark, SC; Orangeburg, SC; and New Orleans, LA

  • ReBuildATL Coalition, Atlanta, GA

  • Missoula’s Clean Energy Workforce Coalition, Missoula, MT

  • Revitalize Our Communities (ROC) Clean Energy Coalition, Atlanta, GA

  • Green for All Business Council (formerly Green Business Council), 10 communities across the United States

  • Team Philly, Philadelphia, PA

  • New Orleans Clean Energy Collective (formerly NOLA Clean Energy Collective), New Orleans, LA

  • Asociación de Residentes de la Margarita, Salinas, Puerto Rico.

The prize will conclude after Phase Three with a CCEC Prize Summit this fall, where competitors will have the opportunity to present their progress, then network with other potential sponsors and philanthropic partners. All coalitions who complete satisfactory Phase Three submissions and event presentations will receive $25,000 to help execute their plans. Following presentations, EERE will award an additional $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000 at the summit to the first, second, and third place winners, respectively.

Read more about DOE's Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize.