After its acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla started building an energy product offering that covers everything from energy production, with its solar products, to energy storage, with its Powerwall, to energy consumption, with its electric vehicles.
A perfect customer for the company would own all of those products.
Tri Huynh is one of those perfect new Tesla customers. He owns a Model 3 and just got one of the very first Tesla solar roof installations and 3 Powerwalls installed at his house in the Bay Area.
Home Solar Power
Yesterday, we reported on Tesla starting installing new solar roof systems at the homes of regular customers and not just Tesla employees.
We spoke with Tri about his new roof and adding Powerwalls to the system, which results in a great example of Tesla’s vision of the house of the future.
He needed a new roof at his house, but he also wanted a new solar system to stop relying on the electric grid.
A new “normal” roof with a rooftop solar array was quoted to him for ~$70,000 before incentives, but he ended up waiting for Tesla’s solar roof, which cost him “about $100,000” for the whole solar roof system with 3 Powerwall home battery systems.
The result is a new roof, ~10 kW of solar tiles integrated into the roof, and ~40 kWh of energy storage:
From street view, the house looks completely normal, but it can actually generate pretty much all the electricity it needs from the solar roof tiles and store any excess energy in the Powerwalls tucked away in the back.
To top it all off, there are two electric cars, a Chevy Bolt EV and a Tesla Model 3, in the garage.
Those vehicles are driving on solar power self-generated at the house.
Tri said that it took about two weeks for a team of about 10 to 15 Tesla installers to take his old roof down and build the new solar roof.
Unfortunately, the system is still not in operation since it still needs to be approved by his local electric utility and there’s apparently a long backlog to get it done, which is ironic since they could potentially take the house off-grid with the combination of solar and Powerwalls.
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 says that it also plans to release two more styles of solar roof tiles: Tuscan glass tiles and Slate glass tile roof.
Separately, the company still offers regular solar modules to be installed on existing roofs, which is a more economical solution for homeowners who don’t need to replace their roof anytime soon.
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 good 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.