Today, Mosaic is proud to announce that we have joined a group of industry leaders including Standard & Poor’s, Dupont and others to create a new standard for evaluating commercial solar projects. The working group, known as truSolar™ is a collaborative consortium of 16 market leaders in the solar industry dedicated to addressing a broad array of project risks through the development of uniform standards that will facilitate lower transaction and capital costs, and improve project finance liquidity within the commercial and industrial solar segment.
Mosaic’s goal from the beginning has been to democratize the solar industry – to allow anyone to invest in solar and make solid returns. Last week we financed four solar projects in less than 24 hours, with over a total of $300,000 invested. This clearly showed that there is pent-up demand for investing in solar.
At the same time that we are enabling more people to take part in investing in solar, we also hope to standardize the way that solar projects are evaluated so that we can ensure that Mosaic continues to bring the high-quality solar projects with strong, risk-weighted returns to investors.
Currently, Mosaic has an investment committee and works with attorneys, technical and insurance specialists to evaluate every project before funding it through our online platform in order to select only the most high-quality solar projects for investment on our platform. Through truSolar™ we hope to increase efficiency to maintain high standards while reducing transactional costs.
The goal of truSolar™ is to standardize this evaluation process, so that people who want to invest in solar can be sure that independent experts have assessed the risk of their investment. By establishing universal criteria of evaluation, truSolar™ has the potential to make it easier to invest in solar – to reduce transaction costs, increase liquidity, and to establish solar as a trusted asset class.
Drawing on expertise and data from these industry-leading companies, the goal of truSolar™ is to foster common practices among solar developers and finance institutions. To do this, the consortium brings together groups that collectively represent the potential risks for solar projects.
Convened by Distributed Sun, members of truSolar™ represent a broad spectrum of global businesses, national laboratories, and solar-industry leaders. Collectively these companies represent $100B in revenues and over 600 years of institutional experience. Founding members of the consortium include DuPont, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Rocky Mountain Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton, NREL, Assurant, and Mosaic.
These standards are particularly important for a distributed technology like solar. Unlike coal power plants, solar panels are distributed across rooftops of homes and businesses, meaning that the total number of projects is far higher than power plants. With universal standards for solar projects, banks and developers can spend less time analyzing projects and more time funding and installing them. “If we do our work well, truSolar™ promises a market-driven solution to reduce transaction costs and the cost of capital, increase liquidity, improve reliability, and reduce project failures in commercial solar,” said Chase Weir, CEO of Distributed Sun.
The ultimate goal is to empower investors, installers, and everyday people to more accurately assess how profitable investments in solar will be. Mosaic believes this will be significant in showing our investors the value of investing in solar. According to Steve Dreyer, Managing Director at Standard & Poor’s, “truSolar™ looks increasingly like the necessary and surest bridge to securitization and the public markets, and for solar to become a real asset class.”
In order to maintain objectivity, the working group will be administered by an independent organization that will develop the credit standards. Once the framework has been created, it will be made available as an open-source standard for the entire industry.
At Mosaic, we hope that by collaborating with a consortium of solar finance industry-leaders we can achieve our primary goal – democratizing solar – while providing our investors with profitable, trustworthy investments.
For more information or to arrange for an interview, please contact Lisa Curtis at lisa[at]joinmosaic.com