Tesla and SolarCity have dominated industry headlines since last week, when shareholders submitted final approval of the companies’ merger.
Now, the energy giants continue to populate the news cycle with recent claims regarding the costs of their newly announced line of solar roofs, as well as a large-scale island project that aims to prove solar technology’s massive potential.
First, Elon Musk made a bold claim to investors, last week, regarding Tesla’s newest solar roof technology. “It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof actually cost less than normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account,” Musk said in a speech that followed last week’s SolarCity merger.
This claim should certainly perk up builders’ ears, as integrating solar roofs over traditional roofs immediately serves as a way to boost the energy offerings and cost savings of one’s business. However, Musk’s claims have already been challenged by industry analysts.
Gordon Johnson, of Axiom Capital Management, is one of the more outspoken members of this community. Johnson argued on Friday that when you factor in costs of distribution, manufacturing and acquisition, the clarity of Musk’s claims becomes far more blurred.
Industry investors, builders, integrators and more need to further crunch numbers to truly understand the veracity of Musk’s remarks.
In other Tesla/SolarCity news, the company recently shared details regarding a major solar energy project on the island of Ta’u in American Samoa. The island, which previously ran entirely on diesel generators, has been powered over the past year almost entirely by a microgrid of solar panels and batteries. The technology has supplied nearly 100 percent of all energy for Ta’u’s 600 residents.
Tesla says this move will offset the island’s use of more than 109,500 gallons of diesel per year.
This project certainly showcases solar energy’s impressive potential through a grand scale that is sure to grab the industry’s attention. It may also offset any concerns that arise from Musk’s challenged cost claims.
As Tesla and SolarCity continue to make headlines, builders will need to wait and see how the companies continue to make an impact, then decide for themselves how this will, in turn, impact their business.
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