Crowdfunding Solar Projects for Non-Profits Now a Reality with Interest

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Did you ever wonder why more non-profit institutions have not taken the plunge into solar energy? The short answer is that as non-profit institutions, such institutions are not able to utilize the tax incentives and other tax related benefits that often drive adoption of solar on a commercial scale in the US.

A new, sophisticated model for helping non-profits go solar has been developed by San Diego based CollectiveSun that utilizes a crowdfunding model to fund projects that provides a return on investment to investors over a 10 year period.

The first project that CollectiveSun completed was for the TERI Marshall House located in Vista, California. TERI Inc.’s mission is to change the way the world views and helps individuals touched by autism and special needs. The goal of the non-profit is to improve the quality of life for children and adults with developmental and learning disabilities.

Through the CollectiveSun crowdfunding campaign, $44,577.32 was raised from 27 investors. The lowest investment amount was $25 and the highest investment amount was $10,000. While every project will be different, this project is now paying 8% interest to the investors.

CollectiveSun partnered with Baker Electric Solar to design and install an 11.5 kW solar power system. The system will displace approximately 95 percent of the residence’s electrical usage. How much will the installation of the system save TERI? It is estimated to save $77,228 over the 25 year life of the system.

The crowdfunding platform that CollectiveSun has developed moves impact investing into a new era. The impact is two-fold. Increasing adoption of solar energy and helping out a worthy cause.

Walter Wang is an energy tax policy expert and managing editor of CleanTechies. A list of his publications can be found here. Follow Walter on Twitter: @energytaxprof

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.