Net-Zero Energy is Exploratorium's Goal
SunPower Corp.(NASDAQ: SPWR) has announced the completion of a 1.3-megawatt high efficiency SunPower solar power system on the roof of the Exploratorium's future home on San Francisco's Embarcadero. The system is designed to ultimately generate 100 percent of the electricity demand at the new state-of-the-art facility, which is scheduled to open in spring 2013.
"The SunPower system is a critical piece of the puzzle in meeting our 'net-zero energy' goal, reducing our impact on the environment, and eliminating a significant operational cost," said Dennis Bartels, executive director of the Exploratorium. "The savings will allow us to invest more in the innovative learning experiences for which we are known worldwide, as well as create learning opportunities about the physics of energy."
The system uses SunPower solar panels that are up to 50 percent more efficient than conventional panels. System performance, updated every 15 minutes, will be displayed in the lobby of the new facility. According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the SunPower solar power system will avoid the emissions of 33,150 tons of carbon dioxide over the 30-year life of the system, which is equivalent to removing 5,910 cars from California's highways.
"Only with SunPower's high efficiency technology will the Exploratorium be able to generate all of its electricity demand from a rooftop system – no other solar panel on the market today can achieve the same results within the limited roof area," said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. "SunPower is proud to be one of the Exploratorium's sustainability partners, enabling the museum to achieve significant long-term savings that will support its important work advancing scientific learning for all ages."
To meet its net-zero energy goal, as well as to qualify as a LEED gold facility, a number of additional features have been integrated into the design of the new Exploratorium facility, including an innovative heating and cooling system using filtered water from the San Francisco Bay, high performance glass to limit heat gain, maximized use of natural light, and use of low-emitting materials and materials with recycled content. Click here for more information on the Exploratorium's net-zero efforts.