Mosaic, which is using crowdfunding to develop solar and other clean energy projects, today (April 8) unveiled $100 million in solar projects that Californians can invest in directly. At the same time it launched its first offering in what it is calling the Golden State Series of solar projects in California, crowdfunding a 114 kilowatt array on the Ronald McDonald House in San Diego. The $157,750 project was funded within hours of its offering, signifying the public’s interest in supporting solar projects.
Mosaic is getting more U.S. citizens to invest directly in solar projects. This is occurring as companies are trying to figure out new financing mechanisms for solar, like creating bonds and securities. Such tools will help lower the cost of solar because they can offer long-term returns at lower interest rates than the short-term, higher interest rate loans that banks and some other institutional investors are looking for. Bonds and securities will also attract new types of investors to solar project financing, investors like insurance companies and retirement funds, which are looking for stable, long-term returns.
“California has always been a leader in solar energy. We’re thrilled that now any resident of California can invest directly into solar energy for as little as $25,” said Billy Parish, President & Co-founder of Mosaic.
The Ronald McDonald House project is anticipated to offer at 4.5 percent annual return on investment. It will have a 117-month term—nearly 10 years, according to Mosaic.
Thus far the company’s offerings to the public have received a lot of interest. When it made three offerings in California this January, all were completely funded within 24-hours. In all, people ponied up to invest $300,000 in the projects.
Now that Mosaic received approval from securities regulators, it can start offering its Golden State Series of projects to Californians for investment. However, it has not named all the projects it plans to offer to the public at this point.
To make sure that the industry and new investor interest in it is continuing to grow Mosaic is working with other companies as part of the truSolar working group. The companies, which include Standard & Poor’s, DuPont and Distributed Sun, are working on ways to efficiently evaluated projects to ensure quality while reducing the time it takes to bring solar projects to investors.