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Solar panels debut at Oakland Chinatown’s Asian Resource Center

on October 13, 2011

Twelve bright blue panels, each one the size of a dinner table and crisscrossed with a grid of internal silver wires, rested in a ten-by-twenty foot metal frame atop the Asian Resource Center in Oakland’s Chinatown, soaking up the noon-time rays of what will soon be the building’s newest source of energy: the sun.

They are the first of what will eventually be 120 solar modules, installed on the roof of the Asian Resource Center (ARC) as part of a pilot program by Solar Mosaic, a Berkeley-based solar financing company that plans to launch five to seven crowd-funded community solar projects in Oakland.  ARC is the first site in the program, and on Wednesday, Solar Mosaic, along with the Ella Baker Center, a human rights and environmental activism nonprofit in North Oakland, and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), which owns and operates the ARC, held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new solar installation.

“We feel like this is a landmark,” Daniel Rosen, Solar Mosaic’s co-founder and CEO said of the first Solar Mosaic project at the ARC.  “This is the cornerstone, and we’re going to build a whole movement on top of it.”

Jakada Imani, executive director of the Ella Baker Center, presided over the event, which featured remarks from leaders of EBALDC, Solar Mosaic, partner-company Sungevity, which installs residential solar projects, and Sun Light and Power, which is installing the project at the ARC.

“It’s more than just a bright idea; it’s an ideal fit for us,” said Jeremy Liu, executive director of EBALDC.  “We’re excited to celebrate the promise of the future together.”



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