Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus goes Solar with SunPower

Our solar array helps us reduce energy demand, costs and harmful emissions, while we conserve natural resources.”

– John Matheny, Site Manager, Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus

As a result of initiatives to conserve energy and reduce waste, Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, California, has been recognized highly for its environmental stewardship.

Atop Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus, the company’s 480 kW solar power system represents their large commitment to the environment. Over the next 30 years, Microsoft’s system will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 4,000 tons, which is equivalent to planting over 1,000 acres of trees, or removing 800 cars from the road. With a reliable, low-maintenance source of electricity that produces no emissions or noise, Microsoft is now achieving both financial savings and lasting environmental impact with its commercial solar power investment.

Reduces Operating Expenses

After taking other environmental steps towards reducing their energy use throughout Microsoft’s facility, solar power was the next logical step. "One of our largest expenses for running this campus is electricity, and in addition to reducing our impact on the grid, we’re reducing that cost significantly by using solar power," said David A. Polnaszek, Campus Manager for Microsoft. Microsoft completed installation of SunPower solar technology on four of its campus rooftops in April 2006.

Establishing Long-Term Savings

Solar power offers a smart way for Microsoft to reduce their electricity expenses. The company’s system has already produced 860,000 kWh in actual cost and consumption savings in year one. During the summer months, it helps reduce peak demand electricity by 400 kW. As a result, Microsoft achieves $120,000 in annual energy savings.

Leveraging Innovative Solar Technology

Microsoft recognized the advantages of SunPower high-efficiency solar panels and the PowerGuard® commercial roof system. "We looked at several solar providers, but SunPower came back to us with the strongest product and solution, and they delivered on time," said George Koshy, Facility Manager for Grubb & Ellis Management Services. SunPower solar cells generate up to 50 percent more power per unit area than conventional solar cells. With their interlocking design, PowerGuard® solar roof tiles install quickly and without mechanical fastening, allowing Microsoft’s solar project to be completed two weeks ahead of schedule

Project Overview

Location:    Mountain View, CA
Completed:    April 2006
Installation Type:    Commercial Roof
System Size:    480 kW
Covered Roof area:    31,000 square feet
Number of Panels:    2,288
Production:    551,861 kWh/yr
Products:    SunPower PowerGuard®

  • Annual savings of $120,000
  • 860,000 kW in real-cost and realconsumption savings
  • Carbon emissions reduced by 4,000 tons over 30 years
  • Reduced heating and cooling expenses
  • Protection and extension of roof life