After a few delays, Tesla confirmed today that they have now officially started the installation process with site survey, design, and permitting for regular customers (non-employee) of its new solar roof tiles.

We have seen Tesla starting to install more solar roof systems in recent months, but we were told that it was still only for employees at that time.

A wider rollout of the new solar product appeared to be linked to transferring production from Tesla’s pilot factory in Fremont to the bigger facility in Buffalo.

Last month, Panasonic, which manufactures solar cells for Tesla’s solar panels and solar roof tiles, was ramping up hiring to support a production expansion ahead of the start of solar roof tile manufacturing at Gigafactory 2.

Tesla now confirmed that they have started production of the first two types of solar roof tiles, Textured and Smooth, at the facility during the fourth quarter 2017.

Smooth glass tile roof 

Textured glass tile roof 

The two companies hope to ramp up production at Gigafactory 2 to reach a capacity of 1 to 2 gigawatts of solar products.

They currently have “roughly 500 employees” at the plant and the hiring process is ongoing, according to Tesla.

As we previously reported, Tesla started taking orders with a $1,000 deposit for the first versions of its solar roof tiles in May 2017 and the product was sold out “well into 2018” within the first few weeks.

That was before experiencing delays and therefore, installations are going to be dependent on the production ramp in Buffalo.

The company says that the “typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for a Solar Roof.”

It’s a fairly expensive product, but it comes with a lifetime of the house warranty and 30-year power generation guaranteed. After the electricity production, Tesla estimates that its solar roof will be cheaper than a non-solar tile roof of similar style or virtually pay for itself through electricity savings.

Tesla solar roof products are perfect for homeowners who want solar and need a new roof relatively soon, but a regular solar panel installation is still a better solution for people who don’t need a new roof. Solar and energy storage prices are highly dependent on your market (electricity cost, gov incentives, etc.) and your property. We suggest getting quotes from more than one installer to make sure you get the best energy solution for your place. UnderstandSolar is a great free service to link you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates for free.

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