Less than 24 hours after launching its online marketplace, Mosaic raised $313,000 to power three affordable housing projects with rooftop solar. While Mosaic is not alone in attempting to use crowdfunding tactics to fund alternative energy, it is attracting serious attention and if its model proves successful, the company stands to make a major contribution in the democratization of the grid.
Peter Kelly-Detwiler neatly summarizes the status quo that Mosaic is aiming to change: Only seven commercial banks currently invest in solar projects. The fossil fuel banking infrastructure is based on financing large projects with a limited number of players: centralized infrastructure, and centralized finance.
Since the company's initial launch two years ago, Mosaic has been working to get SEC approval to offer a return on investment on individual solar projects. That ROI is about 4.5 percent, with the interest rate on the capital provided to developers at 5.5 percent, and the company collecting a 1 percent fee. The loans are backed by the electricity, which is paid for by the building owners monthly - just like paying a utility bill.
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