Public Sector


University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Mission Bay

University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Mission Bay

The Opportunity

Since 2003, the University of California system has been dedicated to being a national leader in environmental stewardship. When it came time to build a world-class biomedical education and research center in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, UCSF’s emerging sustainability policy included adoption of on-site renewable power at its facilities.

The Partnership

UCSF partnered with OpTerra Energy Services to help fashion the new Mission Bay campus as a leading example of green building design. OpTerra designed and installed the largest solar power system to date at a UC campus. The system incorporates two distinct solar energy technologies: solar roofs on Genentech Hall and atop the carports of the parking garage and vertically mounted “building-integrated” photo voltaic (BIPV) modules on the garage facade.

OpTerra also arranged an innovative way for UCSF to avoid upfront project costs and ongoing system maintenance costs by having a third party own and operate the solar power system and sell power to UCSF through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The Impact

UCSF Mission Bay’s solar power system began operation in January 2008. The clean energy it generates prevents nearly 470,000 lbs of CO2 emissions each year. The electricity powers lighting systems and building elevators at the parking structure and Genentech Hall. Not only does this project save the UC system money in energy costs, it also fulfills UCSF’s commitment to renewable energy and green building design. The clean energy generated enhances livability of the building environment, as well as in the neighborhood.

The Technical Scope

  • Sharp solar modules on the roof of Genentech Hall and atop the carports of the Third Street parking garage
  • Building envelope improvements with BIPV modules mounted vertically on the garage facade