Tesla announced that Gigafactory New York achieved Solarglass tile production of 4MW last week, which it claims is enough for 1,000 homes.
An impressive new milestone, but can they install those solar roofs?
In October of last year, Tesla launched version 3 of its Solar Roof tiles, which they now call Solarglass, and it saw a significant price decrease through optimization and faster installation.
CEO Elon Musk wants an acceleration of production and installations for the new version of the solar roof.
He said that Tesla was aiming to achieve production of 1,000 Solarglass roofs per week by the end of 2019.
A few months late, Tesla announced that it has achieved its goal last week:
Congratulations Giga NY team!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 15, 2020
Tesla is coming up with the production of “1,000 solar roofs” within a week by assuming 4kW of energy production per roof. That’s definitely on the lower side of energy production per roof since Tesla has already installed solar roofs with a 10kW capacity.
Nonetheless, it clearly represents a significant ramp-up in production. Now the question is, can they install that many roofs?
Just a few weeks ago, we were getting reports from new Solarglass buyers still being quoted two weeks for the entire installation process.
Tesla has been aiming to install a solar roof as fast or faster than it takes to install a regular non-solar roof, which is about a week, depending on the roof.
Musk said that they will have installation crews compete at a new test structure at the Fremont factory to see who could install the new solar tiles faster and better.
Ultimately, the number of Tesla solar roof installations is limited by the roofers available to install them.
In December, we reported on where Tesla first planned to expand solar roof installations based on its efforts to hire a lot of roofers in some regions. Over the last few months, Tesla had hundreds of open roofing positions for solar roofs.
Separately, Tesla has also been certifying other roofing companies for solar roof installation.
Electrek has learned that Tesla has already certified the first companies for the new solar product, and there’s a strong interest in the industry.
So the answer? Probably no.
First off, I think Tesla is stretching the numbers when it says that 4MW represents 1,000 roofs, but even then, I doubt Tesla has anywhere near the capacity to install 4MW of Solarglass per week.
The problem is installation time and availability of work hours. Tesla will need more crews.
However, the hiring effort appears to be going well, and third-party certification is likely going to greatly increase the number of installations per week.
I can see Tesla selling and installing hundreds of solar roofs per weeks by the summer.
We are likely to know more at Tesla’s April company talk at Gigafactory New York next month.
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