Tesla starts Solar Roof production in Buffalo

Tesla starts Solar Roof production in Buffalo

Introduced in October 2016, this solar roof production is in sync with the company's strategy to unveil options that are free of fossil fuels.

It comes about four months after the plant, built with backing from New York State, started making solar panels and cells and more than a year after Tesla unveiled the photovoltaic shingles to a mix of fanfare and skepticism. But unfortunately, the rollout got postponed firstly to late 2017, and then to 2018, following unexpected delays.

Pre-orders for the solar roof tiles began back in May; customers paid $1,000 as a deposit on the product, and USA installation was supposed to start in the summer of 2017. Tesla expects to complete projects for non-employee customers in a few months. These installations, however, turned out to be exclusive only to select employees of the California-based electric vehicle and energy company.

The "Gigafactory 2" will produce solar PV cells and modules under a partnership between Tesla Inc and Panasonic, which will be responsible for the manufacturing of solar cells to look like computer chips.

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Tesla says it hopes to manufacture enough solar tiles and panels to produce more than one gigawatt, or one billion watts, of electricity every year. Tesla would not disclose how many reservations it had received for the solar roof. This ramp-up seems to be well within Tesla CEO Elon Musk's expectations. Located at Buffalo, NY, the automaker's Gigafactory 2 is earmarked as the production facility of these rooftop-solar systems.

"It may actually do well in overseas markets where solar-photovoltaic is cheap and homeowners are used to paying a premium for building materials and cars - such as Australia", Bromley said.

Tesla's Solar Roof tiles are quite unique in the way that they are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The Solar Roofs, joined with Tesla's Powerwall 2 unit, is capable enough to make its consumer base do away with the conventional power grids, thus contributing significantly to power usage efficiency around the globe.

The company has said its solar roofs would cost between 10% and 15% less than an ordinary new roof plus traditional solar panels.

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