Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.

RTC's Solar Panels


"Groundbreaking" News!

Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, a long-awaited solar panel installation to serve our main laboratory building has begun!


On May 12, 2015, preparations began for a solar panel array to be installed over one of the planter boxes in our main parking lot. They will also serve as shade structures for parked cars, and eventually will power at least one electric car charging station! The work is being done by Sunterra Solar, Inc. See information about a similar project here.


Click on the thumbnail photos below to see larger versions.


info sign

Informing visitors about the project and our commitment to sustainability

solar project 5.13

May 13, 2015

Parking curbs removed, cutouts for concrete pillars

drilling rig

May 19

Drilling rig drilling bores 20 feet deep for support pillars

pumping concrete

May 29

Pumping concrete into steel rebar cages for pillars










May 26

The start of the trench that will hold the wiring conduit to the building


May 26

Trench on the other side of the planter box to hold conduit. Note the blue water pipe for fire suppression, and layers of red brick and black coal dust from RTC's history as a U.S. Naval coaling station.


May 26

Jackhammering for the terminus of the underground electrical conduit, which will be connected to the transformer and new back-up generator


May 26

An intact brick from Tiburon Peninsula brickyards, used as fill for the coaling station in the early 1900s.


May 28

A "Ditch Witch" bores a tunnel under the planter box for the electrical conduit

ditchMay 28

The Ditch Witch drill boring under the planter box

May 28

The concrete pillars are prepared for another layer

May 28

Fresh concrete held in place

June 2

The frame to support the panels begins to take shape. Note the pipes that will contain the electric wires in the center.

June 2

A crane lifts the first of the top beams into place

June 2

Workers from Sunterra Solar begin to secure the beam

June 2

The frame is complete. Does the primer color remind you of another iconic Bay Area structure?

June 3

Now the crossbeams that will hold the panels are added

June 4

The red frame has been painted white, and the crane lifts the remaining crossbeams into place

June 8

The structure is complete, ready for the panels

first panel

June 9

The cardboard wrap around each concrete footing is removed, and the first solar panel is measured

Check back for more updates in the coming weeks!


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