Solar Mosaic said it received a $2 million grant from the Department of Energy to build an online crowdfunding platform for Americans to fund solar projects. The company recently raised a $2.5 million Series A from venture capitalists.
Mosaic Awarded $2M from Department of Energy for Solar Finance Innovation
Brings on Greg Rosen, former VP of Solar Finance at Union Bank, as Chief Investment Officer
DENVER, CO — (June 13, 2012) The Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative has just awarded a $2M grant to Solar Mosaic, a new company that the DOE believes could help take solar mainstream by building an online crowdfunding platform for everyday Americans to create and fund solar projects.
At the SunShot Grand Challenge Summit, where the award was announced, DOE Secretary Steven Chu compared the Sunshot initiative to President Kennedy’s “Moon Shot” challenge to put a man on the moon, catalyzing a nation towards an ambitious and globally important goal. The SunShot goal is to get the cost of solar below $1 a watt by 2020. “Financing is a major part of getting the cost of solar down. There is a huge difference between borrowing at 12% vs. 10% vs. 8%,” Secretary Chu said.
Mosaic will use the $2M DOE grant and its recently raised $2.5M Series A from venture capitalists to expand and scale their model. Mosaic aims to enable millions of Americans to finance solar projects in communities around the country, creating new jobs and stimulating local economies. By driving down the cost of solar, Mosaic will make it possible for more homeowners, businesses, and community organizations to share in the environmental and financial benefits of solar.
Currently, around 25% of the price of solar installations is due to financing and customer acquisition costs, known as soft costs. Mosaic’s unique online crowdfunding platform will help the SunShot Initiative reduce these soft costs while enabling millions of Americans to own a piece of the growing clean energy economy.
“Our mission is to create shared prosperity through clean energy,” said Mosaic’s President, Billy Parish. “Mosaic is the place where people can create clean energy, local jobs, and make a massive impact together.”
Mosaic also announced that it recently hired Greg Rosen as its new Chief Investment Officer. A 13-year solar finance and project development veteran, Mr. Rosen most recently served as the Vice President for Solar Finance at Union Bank, where he focused on providing debt and tax equity for several commercial and utility-scale solar power projects. Prior to joining Union Bank, Mr. Rosen developed and financed several industry
leading solar projects at PowerLight, SunPower, and Helio Micro Utility.
“The solar industry is poised to take the next step in its evolution into a mature industry. Solar equipment costs have come down significantly in the last two years — there is a now huge opportunity to make commensurate reductions in financing costs as well.”
During Mosaic’s first phase, hundreds of people funded more than $350,000 to complete five rooftop solar power plants in California and Arizona. Together, Mosaic’s first five projects created 73kW of clean solar energy, produced over 2,700 job hours for local workers and will also save vital community organizations more than $600,000 on their utility bills. The DOE SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national initiative to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. Reducing the installed cost of solar energy systems by about 75% will drive widespread, large-scale adoption of this renewable energy technology and restore U.S. leadership in the global clean energy race.