Last year, Tesla successfully acquired the solar cell manufacturer SolarCity Corp. Elon Musk announced in October 2016 their intention to supply solar roofing tiles which act as individual solar cells. A roof with these tiles fitted looks pretty much standard, without the large black panels we usually associate with solar PV installations.  The tiles are available in various styles to blend in with existing types used locally and are now available to pre-order.

You can’t accuse Elon Musk of sitting on his hands, even if it’s sometimes difficult to separate hype from reality in some announcements. The products manufactured by Tesla so far of very high quality. If Tesla is able to maintain this level of quality for its solar roofing tiles then they should prove to be popular. The PV tile idea is not new but previous manufacturers have not been able to make the system profitable. Just like with the Tesla Model 3 you can pre-order an installation of these solar tiles and appropriate electricity storage unit, with a down payment of $ 1000.

The great advantage is not only the improved appearance of the finished roof, but also simplicity in fitting. They should be acceptable to planning authorities as retro-fit to older protected buildings because they will not change the character of the building. The tiles themselves are protected by Tesla’s ‘infinity’ guarantee however they are not exactly cheap: According to Tesla the installation price for 1 square foot works out at about $ 41, which equates to $ 440 or € 400 per square meter. The cost for each individual tile is not stated or the expected yield in WP / m².
Synergy effects for Tesla result from the additional offer of so-called PowerWalls, produced in Tesla’s massive battery factory and made up of Li-ion batteries which store any excess energy and smooth out demand peaks.