In recent years, solar power has seen tremendous growth in the United States. Once a niche product for the rich and famous, prices for solar have dropped 80 percent since 2008.
Now, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to put planet-friendly sun-soakers on roofs that are near and dear to you.
Thanks to solar-investment financing company Mosaic, you can now nominate any one of 300,000 schools, churches, libraries and other public places across the country to go solar on its new Mosaic Places platform. And all you have to do is click a button.
Once a spot attracts 50 supporters, the Oakland-based start-up will offer $100 toward installing a solar rooftop, with donations maxing out at $14,000. There’s a total of $2 million or more up for grabs. If you don’t see a link for your favorite place, you can create its own page.
Brad Heavner, policy director for the California Solar Energy Industries Assn, told the Los Angeles Times, “the site could be a valuable way to see what spaces the public wants solar.”
Granted, even if a site gets a lot of funding, the building will still need to seek all the proper city permits to install the panels. But as Billy Parish, Mosaic’s chief executive told TakePart, “every building can go solar if the community is behind it.”
We previously reported that Mosaic works similarly to micro-loan site Kiva. The company collects online investments, some as small as $25, to fund solar panels for buildings that otherwise couldn’t afford them. The solar array makes money by selling electricity to the building and to the local utility; Mosaic takes a small cut and pays the rest to its online investors, typically yielding returns of 4 to 7 percent.
With the EPA’s Clean Power Plan setting carbon limits on electricity production by power plants, it makes a lot of sense to invest in renewable alternatives such as solar, especially if we want a cleaner, greener America.
Mosaic now lets you spread the sunshine and make a difference.