Solar contractors that can clinch sports venue projects get a great marketing advantage with the high visibility of these partnerships, but they’re often a considerable challenge even for the most seasoned installers due to aesthetic requests and massive energy consumption.
Vaha Energy learned this lesson firsthand on its installation for the Los Angeles Lakers’ UCLA Health Training Center. (This Clevelander had to suspend her grief on losing LeBron during this conversation.)
The building had a large, unobstructed flat roof that would’ve been perfect for solar panels. But Vaha couldn’t put panels on it, because the Lakers wanted to instead use that space for its logo.
“One thing with a sports team is everything is about branding and logos, so there was marketing value to them to put [the logo] there that, to my understanding, was worth more than the value of the power offset,” said Geoff Tomlinson, CEO of Vaha Energy.
The Lakers were after a LEED Platinum certification, a points-based green building rating system. Solar can add a considerable amount of points to a building’s tally.