The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative has awarded $650,000 to California-based Mosaic. It is the second award for the peer-to-peer solar finance company. Mosaic offers loans for solar projects with very low monthly payments. The DOE award will be used to improvement products and continue to innovate in order to better serve customers.
“The SunShot Initiative is a model for the public sector’s power to support private sector innovation. “We’re thrilled to receive a second round of funding from SunShot’s Incubator program and to be joined by the solar industry’s brightest innovators,” explained Mosaic President Billy Parish.
Mosaic helps homeowners get solar power systems for their own roofs, so they can lower their energy bills. It also finances community solar projects, like solar systems for schools. Additionally, Mosaic allows individual investors to invest in solar projects and earn interest on their investment. Because of this investing branch of the company, some have called it ‘the KickStarter of solar power’.
Five solar projects were financed by the company in the Spring of 2012. In the same year, it offered an interest-earning investment opportunity with a solar power project for a youth organization based in Oakland. It only took six days to raise the money for the project. DOE awarded Mosaic two million dollars in 2012 from the SunShot Initiative. A first round of venture funding was raised as well that year, totaling several million dollars.
In 2013, it launched an online platform for individual investors, selling out one of its first investment opportunities. Mosaic did about seven million dollars in business that year. Investments in a solar project at the Ronald McDonald House sold out quickly.
Focusing on smaller solar systems might be a great strategy, because this niche has been undercapitalized.
The Sunshot Initiative wants to reduce solar power costs to 6 cents per kilowatt hour by 2020 – that is for the total installed cost.