Roofing clamps produced by Colorado Springs company S-5! were chosen for what may be the largest corporate campus solar panel installation in the United States or even in the world: Google’s campus in Mountain View, California (the Googleplex). This system includes 9,212 solar panels that produce 1.5MW of solar power, enough for 30% of Google¹s peak electricity demand, the equivalent electricity for approximately 1,000 California homes. The estimated annual saving in cost of utilities is $393,000; estimated reduction in CO2 emissions is 3.6 million pounds per year, equal to 4.28 million car miles per year.

The designer of the system is EI Solutions, of San Rafael, California, who provides commercial and utility-scale solar power systems. Installation by Cupertino Electric, headquartered in San Jose, California, was managed by Tim Jensen. With a 50-year-history, 300 personnel on staff and over 1,500 employees in the field, Cupertino designs, installs, commissions, upgrades, and maintains electrical infrastructure systems of any size and location.

According to Jensen, “This is a project on a scale so large that few in the industry have attempted it. Given the number of solar panels and deliveries needed to keep the project running smoothly and on schedule, logistics and planning were critical. S-5! products were a key piece of the hardware needed to execute the project.”

S-5! has a long history of inventing and producing zero-penetration clamps for metal roofs. The company was founded by Rob Haddock, who, with 35 years as a roofing professional (contractor and consultant), was frustrated by products that were difficult to install or that performed poorly over time.

To meet the challenge of how to attach the PV modules to standing seam roof systems without jeopardizing material and weather-tightness warranties, Haddock designed the S-5! lineup of clamps and the patented S-5! round-point setscrews that do not scratch the surface of the roof. With the recently developed S-5! PV kit, the attachment process is easy.

Previous uses of the S-5! solar P-V kit in California include in the solar installation at the Rodney Strong Vineyards, in Sonoma County. In 2003, the PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley, California, faced the problem of how to attach, without drilling through the roofs, the PV modules to the metal roofs so they would stay in place for the 40-year life of the roofs. The solution was a custom-designed, patented S-5! U-series clamp that was applied to over 10,000 attachment points. The PV power system now provides around 30% of the vineyard’s power requirements, including that demanded by the winery’s significant refrigeration needs.