Mosaic, America's first online marketplace to offer solar investments to the public, presents the first major U.S. military solar project to be funded by the public. This is a historic opportunity for Americans to invest in the nation's energy independence and troop preparedness. Launched Friday, investors large and small in the state of California can now put their dollars to work investing in solar panels on military housing.
Mosaic is offering investments in a 12.3 Megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) energy installation across 547 homes at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The base, located in New Jersey, is the first joint Army, Air Force and Navy base in the United States. Investors will earn a competitive rate of return while bringing renewable power to the military families stationed on the base.
"Our nation's energy sources and our national security go hand in hand. The military is at the forefront of developing and deploying clean energy technologies that support troop readiness and energy independence," said Tonya Johnson, who lives on the base with her family. "I love having solar on my rooftop."
The solar panels will be secured on the rooftops of 547 homes of U.S. service members and their families. The installations will generate 30 percent of their electricity and save the housing developer and owner, United Communities, $1.3 million per year in energy costs.
The Pentagon has increasingly turned to solar in order to decrease dependence on energy imported from foreign countries. Along this line, the Department of Defense committed to a goal of deploying three gigawatts of renewable energy on Army, Navy and Air Force installations — enough to power 750,000 homes — by 2025. To reduce the cost of solar, the U.S. Department of Energy "Sunshot" Initiative has granted $27 million towards promising projects, including a $2 million grant to Mosaic in June 2013.
"The U.S. military knows better than anyone the importance of energy independence," said Billy Parish, president of Mosaic. "Mosaic is pleased to offer more Americans the opportunity to tangibly support this by investing in rooftop solar energy for military families. As a father, I'm working every day to create a secure home, nation and planet for my children."
Investors can invest as little as $25 in the project. They will earn estimated net returns at a variable interest rate of LIBOR plus 2.25% annually for the first four years, rising to one-month LIBOR + 2.50% for the final three years of the seven-year term. Newly registered investors can earn a $10 investment bonus through October 10, 2013.