We all know about the benefits of solar power: it’s a renewable resource, it doesn’t create pollution, it’s relatively simple to implement. Yet solar power accounts for only 0.1% of the United’s States electricity. This is because for all its advantages, solar power has one major disadvantage: cost. Harnessing the power of the sun requires solar panels, and solar panels are very expensive.
Enter Mosaic, a new startup based in Oakland, California that matches organizations seeking solar power with investors. It’s kind of like Kickstarter, only investors make their money back gradually over a period of 5-10 years as projects earn revenue.
We read about Mosaic in Mother Jones magazine, where journalist Kate Sheppard wrote, “In order to qualify, projects must be for organizations that are financially stable, have adequate insurance, and benefit the wider community in some way. Recent projects include affordable housing projects, a convention center, several nonprofits, a grocery store, and a Native American reservation.”
Currently, only accredited investors (as determined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) and individuals living in New York and California (which have looser state regulations) can invest money in Mosaic projects. So far, Mosaic has helped organizations raise over $1.1 million for solar projects – a win-win situation for both investors and participating organizations.