Tesla increasing solar tile roof installations in US

Tesla is increasing installations of its Solarglass roofs in the US.
Image: Tesla

Although most people associate Tesla with its lineup of electric cars, the Musk-led company is also involved in a few other sectors. Mainly, those revolving around clean energy. It is currently working on a type of solar tile roof, called Solarglass, that replaces traditional shingles and can power the average home.

Now, the company is increasing its number of solar tile roof installations in the San Francisco Bay area according to CEO Elon Musk via a series of Tweets. He also notes that the product will eventually be available in Europe and China.

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Back in October, Tesla introduced the third version of Solarglass. It originally joined the solar roofing business in 2016 following its acquisition of Solar City. Until recently, however, news about the product was sparse.

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Perhaps that is due to the fact that the cost of installing a solar roof previously kept the majority of potential customers away. However, Tesla finally has an answer to that problem.

It now offers 2,000 square-feet of solar roof tiles that produce approximately 10 kW of electricity for $42,500 before federal tax incentives. However, after those are taken into account the price falls to $33,950. While that’s still a hefty sum, it is far more reasonable than the cost of installation just a few years ago.

For Tesla’s Solarglass business, the recent news is a positive sign. Musk took to Twitter late Sunday night to share that installations in the Bay Area are now taking place and that his company may expand its offerings into Europe and China in the near future.

The company currently offers just one style of solar shingle. It comes in textured black and is fairly unobtrusive. It would be easy to mistake Solarglass for regular roofing at a quick glance. However, this isn’t the finish line. Musk also said that Tesla has plans to roll out other colors and finishes “hopefully later this year.”

Keeping Promises

Elon Musk is well-known for making lofty promises. Although his success rate isn’t perfect, he follows through on them a surprisingly high number of times. As such, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Solarglass finally has some momentum behind it.

After all, Musk said just four months ago that he wants to ramp up installations to as many as 1,000 new roofs per week. Currently, it appears that the majority of these are occurring in and around San Francisco. That also isn’t surprising considering the area’s demographics and abundant sunshine.

Still, Tesla is actively working on expanding its solar tile roofs into other regions of the United States. In January, The Burn-In reported that it is adding nine new states to its list of available locations, bringing the total count to 14.

Meanwhile, Tesla will start increasing production of its solar shingles at a Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York. Musk says that he plans to host a “company talk” at the plant in April.

Tesla appears to be ready for a big push into home solar energy. With a functional version of Solarglass now in production, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an increasing number of homes donning black solar tiles in the coming months.


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