Anyone—professional solar developers or private citizens—can bring an idea to Solar Mosaic, but not every project will qualify. Solar Mosaic vets each project on several parameters, most importantly the project’s potential to create jobs and clean energy. Another key factor is geography—projects in states where third-party financing is not allowed are automatically ruled out. Beyond having a good roof, the system host must have the financial security to pay the monthly lease payments to Solar Mosaic, which are then used to pay back the “crowd.”
Once approved, Solar Mosaic “coaches” the organization through the process of crowd-funding. Solar Mosaic works with the host and a NABCEP-certified installer to determine the system design and the level of funding required. With a design in place, the project goes live on the company’s website. There, people can read about the project, track the funding progress, and click to invest.
The minimum investment is $25 and investors can pay using a credit card. In turn, they receive a portion of the proceeds from the system’s net generation until the original purchase price is reimbursed. Several protections help ensure that investors receive their target return, but as with any investment, there is some risk that investors will lose their principal purchase—either as a result of the system not performing as expected or the failure of the host to make their lease payments.