What if every dollar you donated to a worthy cause generated two, three, or more dollars? That’s the idea behind the RE-volv community solar fund project, currently closing in on the end of its first stage of fundraising.
Like Mosaic, RE-volv is tapping the collective for funding to back solar projects. But instead of individuals investing for their own individual good, RE-volv envisions a big pot-o-gold seed fund that would be invested and reinvested in community solar infrastructure. These are investments in solar’s future — essentially donations to RE-volv’s fund. Here’s how RE-volv explains it:
The Solar Seed Fund will use the donations to finance solar installations on community-serving organizations such as schools, universities, hospitals, and places of worship. RE-volv recoups the solar installation cost and earns a return on the investment through a 20-year solar lease agreement. The lease payments go back into the Solar Seed Fund allowing the fund to continuously grow, and finance an expanding number of solar installations.
According to the group’s numbers, once 14 RE-volv systems are in place, the revenue from those systems will be able to fund another solar-power system of roughly the same cost — and on, and on.
RE-volv has already raised almost $12,000 via its crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo, surpassing its initial goal by nearly $2,000. Combined with $20,000 raised from other sources, that’s more than enough funding to install its first solar project.
“This confirms our idea that lots of Americans support renewable energy, and are excited to have a tangible way to invest in neighborhood solar as part of a collective effort,” said Andreas Karelas, executive director of RE-volv.
If you’re looking to make your money back, Mosaic is a great, and feel-good, way to go. But RE-volv is kind of like a solar Rolling Jubilee, knocking out unsustainable energy by leveraging community cash. Collaborative consumption has become collaborative construction. Um, sharing economy, anyone?