Jack West (inventor)

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Jack West is CTO/CEO of Ojjo, Inc. and was, until February 2017, the President and CTO of Zep Solar, a manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) mounting and grounding equipment based in San Rafael, California. West is also an inventor, entrepreneur and musician. He is most known for inventing rail-free mounting technology and leading Zep Solar’s commercialization of that technology.[1] Zep Solar was acquired by SolarCity in 2013[2], and SolarCity was acquired by Tesla in 2016.[3] West founded Zep Solar in 2009 along with Christina Manansala and Daniel Flanigan[4] and helped to grow the company into the market leader in residential solar mounting equipment.[5] In 2014, one in three residential solar systems installed in the United States contained Zep Solar technology.[2] While at SolarCity, and subsequently at Tesla, West led the development of the product that became known as the Tesla Solar Roof.[6]


In the early '90s, prior to founding Zep Solar, West launched the photovoltaic division of Light Energy Systems, a PV design and contracting firm that designed and installed the San Francisco Bay Area’s first grid-tied PV system[7] The company was later acquired by Acro.[8] In 2000, West and Manansala co-founded High Sun Engineering, one of the first engineering consultancies focused on PV system design.[9] West was inspired as a college student to end reliance on fossil fuels and served in 1990 as co-director of the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, a student-run sustainability organization at Humboldt State University.

Music Career[edit]

West is also an accomplished jazz guitarist, having released five albums[10] with his band Jack West & Curvature and one solo album.[11] Acoustic Guitar Magazine awarded Jack West's fourth album, As We Know It, top honors in its self-released CD competition in 2000.[12] West’s music is frequently used as segue music for NPR programming[13] and he was a winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2004 for his composition, “This Life May be Monitored for Quality Assurance”.[14]