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10 Facts about the Exploratorium’s SunPower Solar Power System

For Immediate Release:
September 19, 2012

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Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

10 Facts about the Exploratorium’s SunPower Solar Power System

  1. The 1.3-megawatt (AC) SunPower solar power system is designed to ultimately generate 100% of the Exploratorium’s electricity demand, helping it to achieve its ‘net-zero energy’ goal.

  2. The amount of power generated by the system is enough to power more than 1,000 average American homes each year.

  3. The system uses 5,874 high efficiency SunPower solar panels, which are up to 50% more efficient than conventional solar panels, to maximize the available roof space and allow the building to generate all the power it needs. These are the same kinds of panels that are installed on homes throughout California.

  4. According to estimates provided by the U.S. EPA, the SunPower solar power system will avoid the emissions of 33,150 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the 30-year life of the system, which is equivalent to removing 5,910 cars from California’s highways.

  5. Solar panels are designed to absorb as much light as possible and minimize reflection, so the system on the Exploratorium will produce less glare than standard window glass and other common reflective surfaces.

  6. The system will generate 1.4 megawatts of DC, or direct current, electricity on the roof and use an inverter to convert it into 1.3 megawatts of AC, or alternating current, electricity for use in the building.

  7. Any excess electricity not used by the museum will be fed into the utility grid to be used by other PG&E customers.

  8. The system will produce no noise, no emissions, and is virtually maintenance-free.

  9. Real-time system performance will be showcased in a display in the Exploratorium’s historic bulkhead lobby, updated every 15 minutes.

  10. While other science museums have high efficiency SunPower systems on their roofs, this is the largest such installation on a science museum, and the only one helping a museum achieve net-zero energy goal.


For more information on the Exploratorium’s net-zero efforts, please see complete press kit here.

Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm;  every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.

$29 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.

Getting Here
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions

About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.

Pier 15
San Francisco
California 94111
(415) 528-4444 telephone

Contact Us:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367