With some early and significant successes in 2013 Mosaic, a crowd funding solar project developer is forging ahead with new partnerships to expand its reach. Already the company sold its first three crowd funded projects in 2013, selling out $300,000 in under 24 hours. Now it's made some big new friends, among them Standard & Poor's and DuPont.
The companies partnered with Mosaic as part of the new truSolar working group. The collaborative effort with launched with 16 companies in the industry at are working to standardize risk assessment and develop a rating system to evaluate potential projects for their credit worthiness. "The truSolar Working Group was established on January 14th," said Mosaic spokesperson Lisa Curtis. "The founding members of truSolar, led by Distributed Sun and DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions, are among the leaders in solar project asset management, development, financing, manufacturing, insurance and ratings agencies. Founding member companies include Mosaic, ABB, Assurant, Inc., PanelClaw, SMA America, Standard & Poor’s, Booz Allen Hamilton, Rocky Mountain Institute and U.S. National Labs NREL and Sandia," she added.
The working group can help open the door to more potential project lenders. "Less than 5 percent of the country’s 6,500 banks and lending institutions are actively involved in financing solar projects due to ongoing concerns about, and misunderstanding, industry risks,” Curtis said. “Despite a robust market for solar installations, lenders struggle to efficiently underwrite loans in this field. In response to this problem, members of the truSolar Working Group are convening to develop uniform standards for solar project screening, rating and underwriting. These standards will reduce and reliably price financing risk, lower the cost of capital and broadly increase the availability of commercial lending for solar projects, helping market participants more accurately forecast asset performance throughout the lifespan of a solar project."
The partnership comes at an ideal time for the company, following the rapid closing of its first offerings to the public. “Selling out our first publicly available investments in less than 24 hours has greatly raised our brand awareness and will hopefully lead to more partnerships with world-class leaders in energy and finance,” Curtis said.
The company plans to announce new projects soon, as well. “Our next round of projects will have a few options outside of California. Our focus is on finding high-quality solar projects to offer to our investors, the location is less important,” Curtis said.
At this point Mosaic is capable of providing financing for projects up to $2 million, according to Curtis. It’s fixed interest rates vary from 5.5 percent to 7.5 percent. As investors understand the lowered risk of solar projects those interest could go down somewhat.