US: Mosaic launches #PutSolarOnIt day

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With the sun highest in the sky, being the northern hemisphere summer solstice, Mosaic hopes to gets communities to organising to raise the funds required to put solar on schools, libraries, places of worship and local businesses. To facilitate the fundraising, the Oakland-based "green web" startup launched its Mosaic Places – allowing not only to collect crowdfunded pledges for a solar array, but also to nominate which buildings they would like to see a solar installation.

"[This platform is] based on our belief that every building can go solar if the community is behind it," said Mosaic founder and CEO Billy Parish. "Mosaic has built a product that enables everyone to participate in transitioning the country to 100% clean energy."

Mosaic is pitching in some of its own money to get community solar installations across the line. For every 50 people that "support" a community installation, Mosaic will chip in $100. For homeowners using the Mosaic Place’s page, Mosaic will provide a $500 voucher, that they can then donate as a pledge to a community project.

To get the ball rolling, Mosaic has already loaded 300,000 places on its Mosaic Places site.

The "green web"

The Places and #PutSolarOnIt initiatives are illustrative of the financial innovation prevalent in the US solar industry. It is also one of the firms bringing technology startup smarts and slick social media marketing to photovoltaics.

Mosaic has built a coalition of partners for #PutSolarOnIt campaign and the launch of Solar Places. These include prominent environmental organisations such as The Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund and The Climate Reality Project. Interfaith Power and Light will work with faith groups to roll out the initiative to places of workshop.

Charismatic American actor Mark Ruffalo adds a touch of celebrity to the campaign, adding his name to #PutSolarOnIt day.

The campaign rounds off a big week for Mosaic, after it had launched its solar loan program for customers in a number of US states.

By applying the crowd funding model to solar, it has been described as the "Kickstarter of Solar". The startup has raised US$3.4 million in series A funding and has picked up a US$2 million Department of Energy grant, as a part of its SunShot Initiative.