‘Occupy Rooftops’ Gives Drive A Solar Twist

The Occupy movement is spinning in all kinds of different directions, so you won’t be surprised to hear there’s a solar power element to it now, as the solar finance company Solar Mosaic and its cohorts encourage people to get a community project going with “Occupy Rooftops” this coming Sunday, Nov. 20.

It might sound a little gimmicky, but if you think about it, it makes sense: Occupy, at its essence, is about grassroots, community empowerment. And rooftop solar seems a uniquely perfect vehicle for just that kind of thing. As the Sierra Club’s Brian Foley put it: “Have you ever heard of community coal or community oil?”

Occupy Rooftops, Solar Mosaic

image via Solar Mosaic

So what exactly is Solar Mosaic asking you to do on Sunday? They want you to work with your friends, neighbors or business colleagues to agree to get a solar project going at building in your community, then on Sunday, gather everyone together in front of the building, snap a picture and send it to them.

In return, Solar Mosaic says, it will “support each group through the process of starting their community solar project.”

That is, after all, what Solar Mosaic does. As the organization explains it: “Instead of financing the solar installations through banks, which dramatically increase project costs because of their high lending rates, Solar Mosaic uses crowdfunding – an online peer-to-peer lending system that allows individuals to invest in solar projects in their communities. For as little as $100, investors can create local jobs, help a community center save money – and then get paid back.”

Solar Mosaic says photos should be sent to theteam@solarmosaic.com. For more info, visit the “Occupy Rooftops’ Meetup page.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.