The solar business is fun and dynamic.  It feels great to be working in an industry which provides a long-term solutions for some of the problems inherent in the energy status quo, and because the majority of people consider themselves supporters of solar, we get a lot of interest and support even from people that are not our customers.  While solar photovoltaic panels have been made continuously since the 1950’s using the basic same materials and techniques, the industry itself is more dynamic than the technology.  Many business leaders (including us) see nothing but opportunity for growth, indeed every sunny rooftop I see is a place where I think solar pv should be installed.  The barriers are not technological, they are economic and social barriers only.

We are a small company assessing the market to determine the best options for our clients.  Based on our years of experience, we have become practical and skeptical of flashy marketing.  This practicality often comes up when people inquire about new products, and lately it seems like Tesla is again the center of attention.  An incredible company led by a charismatic genius CEO, they now have the largest market capitalization of any US car manufacturer, despite the fact that Tesla sold 80,000 cars in 2016, and Ford sold 6.7 million cars for example.  Valuations are as much about stories as balance sheets, and Tesla’s leaders are master story tellers.  They are also masters of shaping their own reality, as evidenced by the quality of the cars they manufacture dubbed “Car of the Century” by Car and Driver, and by the fact that they have installed the largest utility energy storage facilities in the world with their Li-ion batteries.

Regarding the solar roofs, Tesla has announced they will begin taking orders in April, aiming to begin installations by the end of 2017.  They are currently advertising for and hiring roofers, indicating initially at least they will begin as contractors with in-house installers, as Solar City (a national solar installer now owned by Tesla) has done.  Of note, the company has a history of taking orders very early, and delaying delivery dates significantly.  If you need a new roof now, or if you want to utilize the 30% federal tax credit currently in place, you probably shouldn’t wait for this product.

Eric Wesoff provides a survey of a couple of new solar roofs and several unsuccessful BIPV (Building Integrated solar PV, an industry term for solar roofs) ventures here:

Will Tesla again succeed where others have failed?  We are looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish, and how it will relate to the other options available at the time.  In the meanwhile, we won’t be holding our breath.  

Regardless of what the future may hold, what we have to offer right now is better than any time in the past, more watts per square foot at a lower price, with proven technology and 25 year warranties.  We invite you to learn more at one of our upcoming events, we look forward to seeing you.

Meyer Residence, 7.6 KW (SunPower 345 watt modules) on the Clallam PUD grid in Sequim