Bayer's newly unveiled solar installation provides energy as well as shade in its west Berkeley parking lot

Yesterday, Bayer Healthcare’s manufacturing facility in west Berkeley unveiled the city’s largest solar installation. Mayor Tom Bates cut the ribbon to the 1,000-panel installation which provides shading to Bayer’s parking lot, and was designed and installed by SolarCity.

At 295 kilowatts, the system is nearly three times as large as any other installation in the city and will help offset more than 10 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years.

“Bayer has a global commitment to CO2 reduction,” Joerg Heidrich, SVP Product Supply Biotech and head of the Berkeley site said in a prepared statement. “We have learned that achieving these goals takes action on many fronts. Last year our water use declined by 14% over 2010, and solid waste was reduced by 20%. This new solar installation is one more step in our efforts and we look forward to working with the City of Berkeley to achieve our shared goals in climate protection.”

Berkeley is one of the top cities for solar installations per capita in the Bay Area. Read more about Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan which aims to reduce the city’s entire community’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 2000 levels by 2050.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...