Solar Mosaic Gets $2 Million DOE Grant To Build Out Crowdfunding Site For Solar Projects

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Solar Mosaic, a startup that’s aiming to be the “Kickstarter for solar projects,” has been awarded a $2 million grant from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Sunshot Initiative.

Solar Mosaic, which also goes by simply Mosaic, is building an online platform that facilitates crowdfunding of solar projects. Last month the Oakland, California-based company closed on a $2.5 million Series A funding round led by Spring Ventures.

The grant was presented to Mosaic today by DOE Secretary Steven Chu at the SunShot Grand Challenge Summit in Denver. The SunShot initiative, which is modeled after President Kennedy’s “Moon Shot” challenge, is aimed at getting the cost of solar below $1 per watt by 2020. Mosaic says that its crowdfunding platform will help realize this goal by allowing regular people to invest their money in solar projects large and small — according to the company, 25 percent of the price of solar installations today comes from financing and customer acquisition costs.

To date, Mosaic has facilitated the crowdfunding for five projects in its beta mode, in which more than 400 people invested more than $350,000 in five rooftop power plants in California and Arizona. It plans to put its venture capital and grant money toward building out its platform for crowdfunding on a larger scale.