Solar Powered Business Leader
“It was the Tesla electric car that initially got me interested,” said Jeff Qvale, one of British Motor Car owners. “Both Tesla and SolarCity have the same initial investor, Elon Musk. So I called him up and said let’s do it.”
British Motors is now halfway complete with two of the largest commercial solar electric installations in San Francisco, both installed by SolarCity. One of the installations, a 152 kW system, doubles as a rooftop carport and went online at the end of March 2008. A second 150 kW system is now underway at British Motor’s second facility next door.
British Motors sells some of the most expensive, high-performance cars available today. “We sell cars, and not the most efficient cars in the world, but we’re doing what we can to keep our CO2 emissions down. We looked at solar as a long-term commitment that makes financial sense,” said Qvale.
British Motors upgraded one of its buildings to efficient lighting several years ago, but SolarCity worked with British Motors to package additional efficiency improvements with the solar installation.
As an historic building – the same architect that designed the cavernous building now home to British Motors also designed San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts – British Motors had to clear stricter planning approval than most. But once SolarCity had the green light, installation took less than three months.
“We had the wherewithal to pay and we want to do the right thing. Solar makes financial sense with the tax credits and incentives available today. Plus it makes us feel good. Let’s face it: the only thing that is free is the sun. Solar is an opportunity that puts you in control.”