The Oakland-based company, Mosaic, pioneered crowdfunding as way to raise money to bring solar energy to community-based non-profits. Its first pilot project used online contributions plus grants and a large donation to put 120 solar panels on the roof of the Asian Resource Center, a converted warehouse in Oakland’s Chinatown that houses numerous non-profits, retail businesses, medical facilities and a community art gallery. The East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), which owns and operates the building, had a long-standing interest in solar energy but couldn’t afford the upfront costs or take advantage of tax credits that support renewables since it is a non-profit. With Mosaic’s help, EBALDC has realized significant savings on utilities, which means it can continue to help its non-profit tenants serve the community by keeping their rents low.
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