Solar Mosaic picks up US$2 million from DOE

14. June 2012 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets | By:  Jonathan Gifford

California-based Solar Mosaic have moved a step towards rolling out its "crowdfunded" photovoltaic model, picking up a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE), as a part of its SunShot program.

A crosfunded installation in the US - California.

Solar Mosaic started with not-for-profit installations and is building momentum towards crowdfunded photovoltaic profits.

Last week, solar finance startup Solar Mosaic announced that it had raised US$2.5 million in venture capital (VC) funding to develop further its crowdfunded photovoltaic platform. In an apparent official stamp of approval, the DOE has further supported the young company by providing it with a US$2 million grant.

Solar Mosaic plan to allow people in the U.S. to make small investments into photovoltaic installations, and reap the financial rewards as the array pumps power back into the electricity grid. By opening up investment opportunities to micro-investors, Solar Mosaic hopes also to drive down the cost of installation in the country by delivering economies of scale.

In a release announcing the government grant, Solar Mosaic reported that 25 percent of a photovoltaic array’s cost is in installation. Solar Mosaic’s founders believe this can be reduced.

The company has also brought some further financial know-how into its team, announcing the hiring of experienced solar financier Greg Rosen and its Chief Investment  Officer.

Solar Mosaic’s first "proof on concept" phase saw the company provide community organizations and not for profits free photovoltaic arrays, with investors receiving back only their initial investment once the system had paid for itself in production. In this next stage, Mosaic hopes to allow investors to turn a tidy profit on their investment.

Crowdfunding has been a real success of the U.S. online economy and Solar Mosaic plans to translate that to photovoltaic funding.

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