LEHI -- Vivint Solar broke ground on its corporate headquarters Friday, and the city’s economic development director, Doug Meldrum, couldn’t quit smiling at the celebratory event.
“We keep having paydays like this,” Meldrum said after the official groundbreaking ceremony.
He immediately let a giggle escape.
Every few months or so, Lehi has had another tech company announcing its move to a rapidly growing tech hub along State Route and Interstate 15.
Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, was only slightly more constrained.
“This is a remarkable company to have here in Utah Valley,” Hale said. “When you hear their growth numbers, what they are going to become in a few years, it’s just almost mind boggling.
“We’re very fortunate to have Vivint here in this valley, and now Vivint Solar has such a beautiful building, beautiful headquarters and is really an innovative and disruptive technology that is really changing the lives of many, many people in the country.”
Vivint was founded by Todd Pedersen in 1999, and Vivint Solar went public in 2014 and opened at $16 a share.
Greg Butterfield, Vivint Solar’s chief executive officer, relayed to the audience statistics that most entrepreneurs would envy.
“Last year we hired 1,500 people, this year we will hire 2,500 people, the year after that we’ll hire 5,000,” Butterfield said. “We're growing, we’re building and we’re excited to be here.”
The second-largest residential solar provider in the United States, the company operates in eight states.
“In the few years we’ve been in existence, we’ve generated 172,132,966 kilowatts hours of power,” Butterfield said. “That’s a great number. What does it mean, what is the value of that?"
He said Vivint Solar has helped take 24,987 cars off the road, saved 300 million miles from being driven and taken 130,831 pounds of waste out of landfills.
“And here’s a big one, we have eliminated 127,483,956 pounds of coal from being burned in power plants that are destroying our environment,” Butterfield said.
Located at 1850 W. Ashton Blvd., in Lehi, the estimated completion date for the large campus is March 2016.
Gov. Gary Herbert said many wonderful and great things are happening in the state.
“Certainly Utah is becoming a technology haven,” Herbert said. “We call this area here Silicon Slopes. It’s like Silicon Valley, only it has better skiing.”
He said when it comes to venture capital investments, Utah has more money per deal than those being put together in the Silicon Valley.
“By almost double,” Herbert said. “We don’t have as many deals, but per capita, dollars per deal is much higher.”
The Vivint Solar campus will include two parking structures, one underground and one separate with parking for low-emission and electric vehicles. The building headquarters will have five floors and measure out at 163,000 square feet. There will be two gymnasiums, including a locker room and showers, bike racks and storage, and a full cafeteria for employees.
The building is designed for a 2,000-employee capacity. True to its name, solar power panels will cover the rooftop of the new headquarters and also the parking. The architectural plans were designed for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification.
“Thanksgiving Point is an ideal midpoint to draw workforce talent from both Salt Lake County and Utah County,” said Kady Cooper, Vivint Solar public relations director, about the location of the campus.
“It’s also an emerging business community with new travel accommodations and food establishments.”