Tesla CEO Elon Musk was on SolarCity’s conference call for its second quarter financial results today, which is unusual for the Chairman, but understandable considering the impending deal for Tesla to acquire the solar installer. During the call, Musk announced that SolarCity will unveil a “solar roof” as opposed to “solar modules on a roof”.
While Musk didn’t elaborate on the product itself, he made it clear that Tesla/SolarCity will go after the roof industry with its new products, rather than only installing solar modules on existing roofs.
The State of New York has approved a continuation of $485M in funding to build out SolarCity’s Gigafactory – capable of producing 10,000 modules a day. A few weeks ago, we saw the cash disbursements stopped for further review of key individuals associated with construction. These funds are needed to pay for and install the hardware inside the building to manufacture the solar modules as the majority of building construction is complete. The controversy is surrounding lobbyists and construction companies figuring out how to get a piece of a The Buffalo Billion – but really, I’m more interested in what might go on inside the largest solar manufacturing plant in North America and one of the biggest in the world.
Yesterday SolarCity released a SEC filing listing the milestones its co-founders need to achieve to vest tranches of shares of their new performance-based compensation plan. The milestones reveal some ambitious goals for the solar installer.
For example, the first milestone is to achieve a cost of production of $0.50/Watt for solar modules with at least 20% efficiency.