I’d love to invest in clean energy. I’d love to power my home with solar panels. The only problem is I don’t have much cash for investing, and I don’t own my roof.
Luckily, there are creative people out there who feel my pain, and they’ve come up with an innovative way to make it easier for any community to finance solar energy.
Solar Mosaic connects people who want to go solar with the buildings that have the ideal roofs and space to go solar. Mosaics are works of art where many pieces come together to form a whole. So with solar mosaics, many people come together to build community solar projects.
This organization uses the popular crowdfunding model that’s been so popular in the arts and technology scene to enable regular people to join together to finance a solar project in their community.
In the case of Solar Mosaics, crowdfunding starts with the “Tile.” A Tile is a $100 share of a community solar project. It’s like owning solar, except not on your roof.
When a church, school, non-profits, community center or busines has a big, open roof and wants its utility payments to support a green revolution instead of a bank or utility, Solar Mosaic helps find a community of local individuals that are willing to invest in the installation of a solar array.
The project host (aka roof owner) buys the clean electricity produced by the crowdfunded Tiles and starts saving money from day one. Those who financed the project through their purchase of Tiles get paid back through the revenue the Tile generates and earn some fun goodies.
After Tile purchasers are all paid back, additional revenue is paid forward to fund more community solar projects. Jobs are created, coal is kept in the ground, carbon pollution is avoided and money is kept in the community. As they say on the Solar Mosaics site, “that’s at a win-win-win-win-win-win-win!”
Image Credit: Flickr - dirvish
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