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Solar Mosaic: Local startup uses crowdfunding for solar energy projects

Solar Mosaic: Local startup uses crowdfunding for solar energy projects

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on May 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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May 23, 2012, Steve Fisher
Photo by ODOT 
The Oakland-based companySolar Mosaic 
 promises a “disruptive” and
potentially lucrative incentive to crowdfund solar energy projects thissummer.Solar Mosaic is an online startup that uses a model, similar toKickstarter, to help fund community solar energy projects. The companyessentially serves as the mediator between investors who wish to supportrenewable energy initiatives and community members and organizations
who want to “get off the grid.”
Through the company‟s website, investors can buy solar “tiles” at $100.
After the funding goal
is reached, the “solar plant is built and begins producing energy,” according to the site. Thereafter, investors will begin
seeing their funds credited to their account as the project sells its excessenergy back to the grid, the website says.Three of the Solar Mosaic's pilot projects are based in Oakland, one of which is the Asian Resource Center. Thanks to 134 investors, the startupwas able to draw in $98,000 to cover the roof of the ARC with solarpanels.So far, the company has helped realize five
“rooftop solar plants” with
the support of 400 investors.Garrett Fitzgerald is the sustainability coordinator for the city of Oakland, and says Solar Mosaic is a great alternative for people who arepassionate about renewable energy, but do not have the financial orlogistical capacity to install their own solar system. He said they are amodel for combining social good with economic benefit.
“These kinds of companies are the future of the green economy inOakland,” Fitzgerald said.
 Solar Mosaic has plans to take the economic benefits a step further in the
following months. The company‟s co
-founder and president, BillyParish, said that this summer investors will not only have the satisfactionof investing in renewable energy, they also will receive intere
st “ranging
from 5-
12 percent.” The company‟s
website invites individuals to signup in order to be informed as soon as the new option goes live.

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