Del Monte Electric Masters Numerous Challenges Installing Solar Panels on San Francisco's Newly Renovated Exploratorium at Pier 15 in Time for April Grand Opening

This $300 million investment into renovating Pier 15 on the waterfront Embarcadero is designed to be the largest net-zero energy-use museum in the U.S. with a cooling and heating system that uses bay water.

DUBLIN, Calif.--Del Monte Electric, one of northern California's leading electrical contractors, is proud to have been a key collaborator on the newly renovated San Francisco Exploratorium at Pier 15, installing nearly 6000 photo voltaic (PV) solar panels on the roof of the building, succeeding under challenging conditions and an accelerated timeline. This $300 million investment into renovating Pier 15 on the waterfront Embarcadero is designed to be the largest net-zero energy-use museum in the U.S. with a cooling and heating system that uses bay water.

This historical project for Del Monte Electric was a collaborative effort with a major solar provider and will generate 1.4 megawatts of DC (direct current) power which converts into 1.3 megawatts of AC (alternating current) to support 100% of the energy demand for the Exploratorium. The PV solar panels Del Monte Electric installed are 50% more efficient than conventional solar panels and will avert 33,150 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over a 30 year period.

"Our biggest challenge was timing with the weather, water and the barge crane that lifted a vast amount of material to the Exploratorium roof," said Vince Almason, General Foreman at Del Monte Electric. Almason explained, "Planning was critical to saving costs by scheduling only two lifts with the extremely expensive barge crane, and we were successful in strategically getting the 30,000 feet of rail and 60,000 feet of wire lifted to the roof and installed before the second lift and installation of 5,900 PV panels."

The solar installation had an accelerated timeline which also added to the challenges for Del Monte Electric who have 75 years of experience, with a diverse portfolio of time-sensitive projects. Their pre-construction planning, scheduling and organization proved critical to the project and crew who had limited time and access to the roof during construction. The weather also proved to be the uncontrollable factor with a combination of heat, wind and rough tide that all had to be considered during the two successful barge lifts.

"This was a landmark project for Del Monte Electric and we are very excited to have collaborated on this move and renovation of the Exploratorium's 330,000-square-foot facility at Pier 15," said John Hunter, President of Del Monte Electric. He adds, "The capabilities of our team were continually challenged during this project as we met critical deadlines under aggressive schedules, and I am proud that our expertise in solar installation was the contributing factor in keeping this project on time and on budget."

Del Monte Electric

Founded in 1938 and in business for 75 years, Del Monte Electric specializes in public and privately funded projects that require a high degree of electrical knowledge, have aggressive schedules and require complex installations. The company builds long term relationships with customers and is consistent in delivering quality work on time and within budget. Del Monte Electric's successful track record includes projects ranging in size from $50 thousand to over $10 million in electrical value. Their expertise is focused on healthcare facilities, solar installations and educational institutions, performing work throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California region. For more information please visit

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