Mosaic, Distributed Sun partner for first crowdfunded solar project in Colorado


The PV array at Pinnacle. Courtesy Mosaic.Mosaic partnered with Distributed Sun (D-Sun) to take on its first project in Colorado at the Pinnacle Charter School in Federal Heights. The company financed the 657 kilowatt project through crowdfunding, allowing individuals to purchase a note in the project. And though it announced the $450,000 project today, July 11, it’s already fully funded.

Mosaic is taking solar to the people in a way that other companies haven’t. By crowdfunding—essentially creating a bond or note of debt—the company is allowing people to invest in solar in a way the previously haven’t been able to. The crowdfunding promises return, too. People could buy into the array at Pinnacle for as little as $25 and can anticipate an annual return on investment of 5.4 percent for the ten year period of the note.

It’s also the first time that Mosaic has partnered with Distributed Sun, which has 115 installers in 28 states, which will help the company expand into new states with its crowdfunding model. "Mosaic is thrilled to partner with D-Sun and open up more of these types of good investment opportunities to the public," said Mosaic CEO Dan Rosen. "As we go forward together as partners under the truSolar initiative, an emerging standard for assessing solar project risk, we look forward to announcing deeper collaborations with D-Sun in the months ahead."

Pinnacle is one of Colorado’s largest public charter schools in Colorado and has more than 2,000 students. The plan for an array on the school was hatched by a science teacher at the school, Mosaic said. “it was a Pinnacle science teacher who first thought of the idea to use solar as a way to teach students STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math),” the company said.

The array is anticipated to save the school roughly $1.6 million in energy costs. The school will pay for the electricity the system produces, which will help repay the notes, as will the sale of renewable energy credits produced by the array, which will be sold to the local utility.

Since launching its crowdfunding offerings, each has quickly sold out. Thus far it has crowdfunded projects in Arizona, California, New Jersey and is funding a project at the University of Florida. Both the Pinnacle and University of Florida project were undertaken as of Mosaic's Solar Schools project, the company said.