Solar Mosaic is selling 5,000, $100 solar tiles to finance solar projects in Oakland, Calif. The group has already sold more than half the tiles.
Solar Mosaic Oakland is Solar Mosaic’s first project. It’s a partnership between The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which was co-founded by Van Jones, Solar Mosaic, Rebuild the Dream, Sungevity and Solar for All. They forged the union to develop this new model of funding solar projects, with the hopes of making it a replicable model across the nation.
The first project aims to raise $500,000 in funds, to install a total of 140 kilowatts of photovoltaics in Oakland on seven community buildings. In the process, it will create 2,240 local job hours.
And, according to the Baker Center, there’s already a plan to raise additional funds to expand the project.
The Oakland project is well on its way to being fully funded.
“We have an anonymous celebrity sponsor who has purchased 2,500 Solar Mosaic Tiles, and we have sold about 50 tiles since our revamped site went live on April 15th,” said Robert Metcalf, a member of the Solar Mosaic team. “We're looking forward to launching our local tile-selling activities in Oakland in the coming weeks.”
The program not only allows community members to help install solar to benefit the local community, tile buyers also get their investment back, Metcalf said.
“We pay them back their initial investment with profits from the project, and the excess profits are paid forward to fund additional community solar projects,” he said. “Their initial investment eventually generates a revolving solar community fund.”
With the first project in Oakland, Solar Mosaic is looking to oversubscribe, or sell more tiles, than the 5,000, according to Metcalf.
“Solar Mosaic is all about crowd-funding solar, and there is no lack of interested site hosts,” he said. “So we are aiming to oversubscribe this initial pilot project so that we can clearly demonstrate the demand and power of crowd-funded solar.”
Solar Mosaic also is evaluating potential Solar Mosaic sites in Flagstaff, Ariz.
“Our goal is to develop a crowd-funding platform that will allow people who would like to see more solar in their community raise the funds themselves via Solar Mosaic,” Metcalf said. “We're building out the platform to allow this model to scale countrywide.”
Pictured: An installation at Akers Elementary School is courtesy of The Foundation for Environmental Education.
Editor's note: We initially reported that Solar Mosaic was a nonprofit company, when, in fact, it is a for-profit company. We apologize for the mistake.