Solar Mosaic Breaks Barriers to Going Solar in Oakland
* New video released today showcases a new model of solar development being pioneered in Oakland.
Asian Resource Center Begins Crowdfunding Campaign for Solar (More on "crowdfunding")
OAKLAND (Sept 1, 2011) Solar Mosaic, an innovative solar finance company, just launched its first project to connect those who want to invest in solar with community building owners who can benefit from solar. Often people can’t go solar because of the upfront costs or because their roofs aren’t suited for it. Oakland Solar Mosaic will create over 140 kW of solar (enough to power 28 homes) on the roofs of organizations across Oakland that serve low-income communities.
Instead of financing the solar installations through banks, which dramatically increase project costs because of their high lending rates, Solar Mosaic uses an online peer-to-peer lending system that allows individuals to invest in solar projects in their communities. For as little as $100, investors can create local jobs, help a community center save money and get paid back. Solar Mosaic co-founder, Dan Rosen, said, “Our goal is to disrupt the two largest industries on the planet: energy and finance.”
The Asian Resource Center (ARC), in the heart of Chinatown, is the first site in Oakland to go solar by raising money on the Solar Mosaic platform. The ARC is a thriving non-profit center, home to organizations that work on a wide range of social issues in the areas of affordable housing, health care, environmental justice, and more. The 28.8 kW solar installation will save the building an estimated $112,684 over the lifetime of the lease. The ARC will lead the way for other solar installations to create jobs and clean power across Oakland.
“We’re excited to finally figure out a way to create cleaner energy and reduce our overall utility costs,” says Mary Lucero-Durst, Director of Asset Management at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, which owns and manages the ARC. “This will help us keep rents below-market and enable our non-profit tenants to keep serving the greater Oakland community.”
Jakada Imani, Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the local organizing partner for the projects in Oakland, commented, “The Oakland Solar Mosaic puts the financing for renewable energy into the hands of the people.
Solar Mosaic has already generated more than half of the funds needed for the solar project on the ARC. See www.solarmosaic.com/arc for more information.