SVM’s commitment to the environment is ingrained in the company’s ethos. Over the years, SVM has converted its fleet of local delivery vehicles to hybrids, moved employees from desktop computer to energy efficient laptops, de-lamped its facility, and installed weather-based irrigation systems. In 2008, Silicon Valley Power performed an energy efficiency audit on SVM’s facility and found that SVM was using less than half of the energy of benchmark businesses in their class. With little more to be done on energy efficiency, SVM turned to Vista Solar to design a solar system that would offset their remaining energy usage.
Vista Solar designed a 59 kW roof-mounted solar array that was installed in parallel with an energy efficient roof coating known as “cool-roof”. In addition to reflecting 83% of the sun’s rays to keep the building cool, the reflective coating help’s to increase the sunlight exposure for the solar system – improving the performance of the solar arrays. Vista Solar later returned to install a 21 kW custom carport to help offset the increased usage seen by the ever-growing SVM. The carport was designed to include veneers around the edges of the array and under the solar modules that would conceal the electrical wiring and micro-inverters attached to the carport. In addition, the carport was color-match painted to blend in seamlessly with the adjacent building. Due to the attention-to-detail paid on the carport, the system was nominated for Sunpower’s “Intelegant” award for beautifully crafted solar systems. Today, SVM is one of a handful of Silicon Valley companies that is successfully generating 100% of its electricity needs from solar power.