The project coordinators describe the project as a commercially viable alternative to current energy sources. Rather than seek corporate funding which could have strings attached (for example, what if corporate funders with ties to competing energy sources bought the project with the intent of shelving it?), funding will come from individual supporters who pledge what they can to help.
In addition to producing a limitless supply of clean energy, the deep ocean current turbines could also be used to produce fresh drinking water, as the excess torque of the turbines could drive desalinization pumps.
Who is behind Crowd Energy? The participants describe themselves as "a small collection of Engineers, Inventors, and Scientists... specialists in SubSea Engineering, Oceanography, Marine Ecology and Conservation, Electrical Engineering, Fabrication, and Design." They are dedicated to using eco-friendly materials, with mindfulness toward marine animals and habitats.
For more information, check out the "donate" page which goes into more detail about Crowd Energy and includes some videos, too.