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Elon Musk wins case over Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity – Judge says he was too involved but paid a fair price

A judge sided with Elon Musk in a court case brought by investors over Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, which they claimed was pushed by Musk to bail out the solar installer.

The court found that Musk was more involved than he should have been in the acquisition considering his interest on both sides, but the judge ultimately determined that Tesla didn’t overpay for SolarCity.

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Tesla’s solar power today and tomorrow versus yesterday at SolarCity

SolarCity was once, without a doubt, the leading name in residential solar power in the United States. Solar leasing was 72% of residential installations in 2014 – and the largest lessor, SolarCity, had a 34% market share of all solar installed, leased and sold. The second largest company, Vivint, was less than half their size.

Today, even after adjustments in strategy due to broader market shifts that started in 2014, and alterations of sales reachout techniques as part of their sale to Tesla, they are still the residential volume leader but their heading has definitely changed.



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Tesla Energy update: 110MWh of energy storage and 109MW of solar

In Tesla’s Q3 2017 earnings report, they gave an update on their ‘Tesla Energy’ division. They highlighted being on track to meet the 100-day deployment deadline of the 100MW/129MWh energy storage project for South Australia. Mention was made of the work being done in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria – ‘solar panels, Powerpacks and hundreds of PowerWalls.’

Additionally, Tesla – at multiple points – pointed toward a future of more revenue from energy generation and storage. 11% of the quarter’s revenue came from the Tesla Energy division.



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SolarCity’s CEO is leaving Tesla as the company absorbs the solar installer

Since Tesla acquired SolarCity in November 2016, there’s been a gradual integration of the solar installer into Tesla, which included some significant layoffs and restructuring.

CEO and co-founder of SolarCity, Lyndon Rive, who is also Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s cousin, transitioned to Vice-President of Tesla Energy, which now includes both energy generation and storage.

The executive announced this week that he will be leaving Tesla this summer to start a new company.

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Tesla’s SolarCity has seen its workforce cut roughly 20% in 2016 following acquisition

Founder & COO Peter Rive, Chairman Elon Musk , SolarCity Founder & CEO Lyndon Rive speak at the company’s IPO at the NASDAQ stock exchange on December 13, 2012 in Manhattan, New York. SolarCity is a leader of distributed clean energy and will trade under SCTY. (Mark Von Holden/AP Images for SolarCity)

When Tesla acquired SolarCity last year it boosted its headcount to over 30,000 employees and it’s still the case, but barely due to restructuring at the solar installer.

At the end of 2015, SolarCity had 15,273 employees and now Tesla disclosed in its latest SEC filing that the count went down by ~20% to 12,243 full-time employees.

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Tesla’s (TSLA) first earnings announcement post-SolarCity integration: cash positions, solar tile roof production this year, more

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Tesla has made its first quarterly announcement since it purchased SolarCity in late 2016. Understandably, it seems SolarCity’s own Gigafactory has been renamed Gigafactory 2. The SolarCity integration being an ongoing process warranted notice in the header lines of the document  – with this first page quote reiterating the logic in purchasing SolarCity:

With the acquisition of SolarCity, we have created the world’s only integrated sustainable energy company, from generation to storage to transportation.

Multiple references were made to bettering the cash positions of the company by focusing solar power sales on cash deals that generate immediate revenue versus lease sales. It was stressed that Tesla’s plan to do this was strongly underway – cash sales increased from Q3’16 to Q4’16 from 13% to 28%, while from increasing 7X from the 4% in Q4’15. Of the 203MW installed in the quarter – 56MW were cash sales totaling $77 million. Those $77M were added in only six weeks – $500-667M in cash sales for 2017 (low end adjusted as there is always a bump in 3rd/4th quarter)?



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Tesla’s SolarCity expands in Florida through its partnership with Airbnb

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Tesla and Airbnb, a home-sharing platform, have been getting closer through partnerships over the last year. First directly between the two companies when they announced a new program to install charging stations at Airbnb host homes and then through SolarCity after the announcement of the merger with Tesla. The solar installer partnered with Airbnb to install solar arrays at a $1,000 discount for hosts.

Now that Tesla is expanding SolarCity’s market to Florida, it opens up the partnership to several more eligible hosts.

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Tesla’s SolarCity sells $241 million equity in its solar portfolio

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The critics of the Tesla-SolarCity merger were concerned of the solar company putting a strain on Tesla’s cash balance, but after the acquisition, CEO Elon Musk surprisingly said that he expects the company to contribute to its cash instead. Today, the company announced that it raised $241 million equity from its solar portfolio in a solar cash equity transaction with Sammons Renewable Energy (SRE).

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Tesla and Panasonic working on deal to reopen idled Osaka factory and supply solar panels to SolarCity, report says [Updated]

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Beyond Tesla and Panasonic’s collaborations in battery manufacturing at the Gigafactory in Nevada and solar cell manufacturing at the factory in Buffalo, the two companies reportedly struck a deal this week for Panasonic to manufacture complete solar panels for Tesla. The contract is reportedly significant enough that Panasonic is reopening its idled solar module factory in Osaka, Japan.

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USA installs record amount of solar power – 191% growth – ignoring Trump’s ‘Chinese Hoax’

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In the 3rd quarter of 2016, the United States installed 4,143 MW of solar power per a report released by Greentech Media’s Research Team – 191% greater than Q3’15. This volume represents the largest quarter in US history, even larger than the historically largest 4th quarters during the prior decade. Q1+Q2+Q3 of 2016 have already surpassed all of 2015’s total install amount. The 4th quarter is expected to be even larger – leading to 2016 overall being 88% greater than 2015. It looks like Americans installing solar power and the Department of Energy are turning their nose up to Donald Trump’s Chinese Hoax.



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Tesla’s SolarCity starts hiring production workers at its ‘Gigafactory’ for solar panels

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The production plans for Tesla’s newly acquired solar panel factory in Buffalo through its acquisition of SolarCity are not entirely clear. There are a lot of cards at play. Tesla and Panasonic are now going to get involved in SolarCity’s manufacturing of solar cells and solar modules, while the plant will now also produce Tesla’s new solar roof products.

But it’s clear that SolarCity is moving forward with production at the plant since the company has started the process of hiring production workers this week.

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Tesla giving up residential solar leasing to be in the Florida ‘sunshine’ market – and it might be the company’s future

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State of Florida law states only an approved and regulated electric utility is allowed to sell electricity to the public. The 1988 court case, PW Ventures, Inc. v. Nichols, clarified this position. With Tesla’s SolarCity announcing that they’ll service customers of Duke Energy and the Orlando Utilities Commission in the greater Orlando area, they’ll have to abandon their ‘solar lease’ model in Florida – a state with no solar incentives.

In this model, Tesla owns the solar power system and takes all incentives, then sells the homeowner discounted electricity in a 20-year contract. With a population greater than 20 million people, the third largest state is a ripe opportunity – and maybe a laboratory.



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Tesla’s SolarCity announces expansion in Florida after long battle against local utilities

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Despite its “Sunshine State” nickname, Florida ranks among the lowest states for solar power deployment thanks to anti-solar regulations backed by local electric utilities. But on election day, the citizens of Florida showed interest in solar energy by rejecting the anti-solar Amendment 1, which according to solar installers, including SolarCity, would have made it easier for utilities to add fees to make solar more expensive for customers.

Following the election, Tesla’s SolarCity is the latest solar installer announcing an expansion in Florida today now that it will become economically viable for a lot more households to install solar arrays on their homes.

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This week’s top stories: Trump propagandist launches campaign against Tesla, Model 3 arriving ‘very end’ of 2018, Chevy Bolt EV leasing program, more

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In this week’s top stories: A top Trump propagandist launches a campaign against Elon Musk and Tesla, a new report claims Model 3 might not arrive until the very end of 2018, GM launches the Chevy Bolt EV leasing program, and Tesla officially closes its acquisition of SolarCity.



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Tesla has now over 30,000 employees (25K in US) after SolarCity/other acquisitions

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While Tesla’s management and CEO Elon Musk are often quick to remind everyone that the company is still very much operating like a startup with limited resources, it has been growing significantly over the past few years and especially recently with its two acquisitions over the last month: SolarCity and Grohmann Engineering.

Tesla has now over 30,000 employees, including more than 25,000 based in the US.

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Tesla announces it officially closed the SolarCity acquisition, now what’s next?

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After shareholders approved the decision with a strong 85% majority last week, Tesla announced this morning that it officially closed the SolarCity acquisition. A spokesperson sent out the following statement:

We’re pleased to announce that Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity closed this morning.

It wasn’t necessarily an easy process. Wall Street analysts almost universally didn’t like the deal and Tesla’s share price suffered the consequences, but now that it is closed, what’s next for the new combined company?

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Tesla and SolarCity Shareholders approved merger by ‘more than 85%’

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Tesla is currently holding its special shareholders meeting to vote on the merger and General Counsel Todd Maron announced within minutes of the meeting starting that shareholders have approved the merger by more than 85%.

The company officially acquired SolarCity for roughly $2 billion. Tesla will integrate SolarCity’s team and operations, and it will phase out its brand in favor of ‘Tesla Energy’ over the next few months.



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Tesla is acquiring part of an interesting startup trying to light up Africa through its SolarCity acquisition

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Tomorrow, Tesla and SolarCity shareholders will vote on the merger of the two companies. While it’s not exactly a done deal, everything points to the merger going through after major institutional shareholders voiced their supports and CEO Elon Musk disclosed that early votes were “overwhelmingly” in favor.

Tesla’s CEO recently mentioned that the combination of energy storage and solar energy will enable developing nations to leapfrog the fossil fuel era and go directly to renewable energy.

The comment is particularly interesting if you consider that through its acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla is acquiring shares in a company that is trying to attempt exactly what Musk was describing.

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SolarCity reports surpassing 300,000 installed solar customers during last quarter before Tesla merger

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Today, SolarCity reported its financial results for its third quarter 2016 and last quarter before its merger with Tesla if approved during a special meeting of shareholders scheduled for next week. The company confirmed having installed 187 MW of solar capacity during the quarter – bringing the total since inception to 2.45 GW spread out across over 300,000 solar customers.

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Tesla and SolarCity in talks for ‘a number of large’ utility scale energy storage installations

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One of the many reasons CEO Elon Musk gave to justify the merger of Tesla and SolarCity is to simplify the complicated bidding process that comes with the two companies collaborating on utility-scale solar and energy storage projects.

The timing of the merger might have to do with several of these projects being in the pipeline since a SolarCity official just confirmed that they are “in talks for ‘a number of large installations” big enough to double the current installed capacity by the company.

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SolarCity’s solar Gigafactory will produce up to 10 GW/year under Tesla, says Elon Musk

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While discussing potential improvements in manufacturing efficiency with Tesla investor Ron Baron at his conference in New York today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that under Tesla and with the new partnership with Panasonic, SolarCity’s “solar Gigafactory” in Buffalo (pictured above) could produce up to 10 GW/year of solar products – up from the previous 1 GW/year of planned production.

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