Award-Winning Solar Ports Cathay Bank – El Monte, California

Established in 1962, Cathay Bank is the oldest Chinese American bank in the United States. Headquartered in El Monte, California, the Bank brought EcoMotion aboard for assistance in developing a solar port project in its sunny, southern parking lot. EcoMotion began by refining the plan and clarifying the project, re-issuing the Request for Proposals with a specific design and scope presented. This saved the Bank hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having helped select the winning bidder, EcoMotion worked with the Bank, the Bank’s architect, and Permacity, the installer ultimately selected for the job.

The 421.3 kW PV system that was built in 2013 is based on carports covered with solar. The canopies feature 2,128 solar panels, sourced from Schüco, a German company. The PV system generates ~650,000 kWh annually, cutting power costs by 40% and saving ~$9,000 each month. In addition, it has substantially reduced the bank’s carbon footprint; keeping nearly 500 tons of greenhouse gases (CO2e) from being released into the atmosphere each year. The project also features LED lighting. In 2014, it won a Los Angeles Business Council award for excellence.