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Summary:

In less than a day, startup Solar Mosaic says its first publicly available solar roof projects have been 100 percent funded. Can crowd-funding revolutionize solar?

Solar Mosaic

On Monday Solar Mosaic officially opened up its solar crowd-funding site to residents in California and New York as well as accredited investors. And by Tuesday, the site had fully funded all three of the new projects that were made available to public investors, which will install solar panels on affordable housing projects in Corte Madera, Calif., Salinas, Calif., and San Bruno, Calif.

Solar Mosaic still has one solar project available at this point that’s only for accredited investors. In total Solar Mosaic says it saw 400 investors put in over $313,000 — in increments of between $25 and $30,000 — with an average investment of nearly $700 over the past day. The projects will provide investors with a 4.5 percent annual return, with a 9-year term.

The two-year-old company has built a Kickstarter-style crowd-funding platform, but in contrast to Kickstarter, Solar Mosaic provides returns to backers of its projects. That’s because solar panel roof systems create revenue, as the building owner pays for the solar electricity commonly provided through a lease, with a 20-year contract. The crowd-funded money goes to installing the solar panels, and then the investors get a return via the monthly electricity bill.

So far, including the beta period where Solar Mosaic was enabling a small group to invest in solar roofs, Solar Mosaic says it has raised $1.1 million from more than 700 investors. The company has raised $2.5 million in venture funding (to run the company) so far and according to Dow Jones VentureWire is planning to raise a $10 million Series B.

(Disclosure: I invested a bit to test it out and see what the process was like).

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  1. A very good Idea imo and Im a huge photovoltaic fan but why do the projects choose to take credits for 4.5% where Banks could do it with lower intrestrate rates.
    I dont know how it works in the US but in Germany Banks esp. gouverment regulated banks are offering 2.5%-3% credits for photovoltaic projects and that is not a goverment subsedie.
    The low intrestrate is the result of a very safe investment, the photovoltaic is insured, the produced elictricity is easy to forecast. There arent many factors that can go wrong.

    So why would people choose such high intrest rates when its possible to get it cheaper?

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    1. MrD… you did not get it… it is not a credit rate… it is a return on investment… the higher the better

      Hope this helps

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      1. But a higher returnt rate for the investors means a higher electricity price for the consumer, so they would be better of having someone wo only want 2.5% return rate.

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  2. You have to look at the length of the term as well, if you want to compare interest rates.

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