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Case Study

Berkeley West Library Tilt Mount Roof System


Sunpower 435W Panels Installed

52 kW

Peak System Output

Zero Net Energy Library

First in California

Putting The Power in Public Works

Berkeley citizens voted in a public bond measure for the construction of Berkeley Public Library’s West Branch. To win over Berkeley voters, the library had to reflect the community’s sustainability values. To do so, it was be designed to meet demanding environmental standards, including large windows and long, operable skylights to limit the need for artificial light.

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This design resulted in very tight roof access for the installation of a tilt-mount solar array designed to meet the library’s full power needs. Sunterra was able to identify significant savings by redesigning the original generator plan, and complete the project under budget.

As California’s first Zero Net Energy library, in its first year of operation, Berkeley West produced more energy than it used, only the third municipal building in the nation to do so. “West Branch Library is performing beyond our expectations,” said Neal DeSnoo, the Energy Program Officer for the City of Berkeley. The City noted that the solar panels produced enough energy surplus to power two average-sized Berkeley homes for a year.

“This project represents a commitment to smart energy thinking, for a community that takes green energy seriously. It also reflects our experience in working within established union labor requirements. When it comes to innovative public works projects, your skill set has to include engineering experience and sensitivity to labor contracts.” - Chris Bunas

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