Ever since Tesla took over SolarCity to become part of Tesla Energy, the deployment of solar power has been slowing down gradually for a series of reasons ranging from a restructuring to market changes.
Now Tesla is looking at a shift as it claims that demand is not a problem and now they need to increase production.
Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel made the comment to USA TODAY this week:
No one should see us as stepping back from solar. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s like with Model 3. People have come flooding in and are waiting on the product. So now we’re aggressively ramping our capacity.
Straubel wouldn’t confirm any number for demand or the upcoming production ramp, but he did confirm that wait times for the Powerwall will finally be reduced by the end of the year as they ramp up production.
That’s something that Tesla has been talking about for the last year, but it looks like demand for the home battery pack has been increasing much faster than production. This has happened as Tesla has been securing a ton of new projects, like the recent deployment of a massive virtual power plant in Australia.
To this day, almost two years after the launch of the second generation Powerwall, it can be very hard for long-time reservation holders to get one.
But in recent weeks, we have seen several large Powerwall projects being deployed and thousands of ongoing projects in Australia and Puerto Rico points to Tesla finally increasing production.
It’s in line with what CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel have been saying about Tesla installing more energy capacity in the next year than what was installed since the launch of Tesla Energy in 2015, which is over 1 GWh of energy storage.
As for solar products, it has been an even slower rollout for the solar roof tiles while regular solar array deployment has been decreasing.
After a few delays, Tesla confirmed in January 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.
Prior to that, we had seen Tesla starting to install more solar roof systems, but we were told that it was still only for employees at that time – including installations at the homes of Musk and Straubel.
We recently reported on the first few customer installations in California.
Tesla now says that they are ramping up production with Panasonic at Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo. The company aims to produce over 1 GW of solar products (mix of roof tiles and regular solar panels).
It would represent a big increase for Tesla Energy which has installed only 76 MW of solar energy generation systems during the first quarter of the year.