FORT DIX, N.J., Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mosaic, America's first online marketplace to offer solar investments to the public, is providing a new way to support our nation's energy independence and troop preparedness. Starting today, investors large and small in the state of California, can 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. This 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 homegrown renewable power to military families.
"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 military 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 solar installations will meet 30% of their electricity needs 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 US 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 everyday to create a secure home, nation, and planet for my children."
Mosaic is financing this new solar housing project in partnership with True Green Capital Management, a New York-based private investment firm, and CIT, a bank holding company with more than $44 billion in assets. The installation is owned by equity sponsor True Green Capital Management. In addition, CIT Energy served as Sole Lead Arranger in a $24 million senior secured credit facility provided by CIT Bank, the U.S. commercial bank subsidiary of CIT Group Inc.
"CIT is proud to support Mosaic on this innovative offering, enabling individual investors to leverage CIT's deep industry expertise in renewable energy while supporting the men and women serving our country," said Mike Lorusso, head of CIT Corporate Finance, Energy.
Mosaic investors in this project will be paid through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with United Communities, a housing developer rated AA- by Standard & Poor's. Historically, AA-rated borrowers have defaulted less than 1% of the time over a 10 year period.
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 1 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.
Mosaic is an online marketplace that connects individual and institutional investors with high-quality solar projects. www.joinmosaic.com
ABOUT UNITED COMMUNITIES United Communities LLC, is a Delaware limited liability company, which was awarded a 50 year lease to develop, own and manage the 2,084 homes on McGuire Dix Air Force Base. http://www.mcguiredixuc.com
ABOUT TRUE GREEN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC True Green Capital Management LLC is a privately owned, specialized investment firm managing capital for institutions and high net worth individuals in the United States and abroad. www.truegreencapital.com