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SolarCity Stories April 27

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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SolarCity Stories September 24, 2019

Tesla’s stock (TSLA) took a big hit this morning while the rest of the market was up and it comes as a lawsuit brings more scrutiny to the SolarCity acquisition and Elon Musk’s involvement. expand full story

SolarCity Stories November 13, 2017

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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SolarCity Stories November 1, 2017

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 Stories May 16, 2017

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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories March 2, 2017

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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories February 22, 2017


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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SolarCity Stories February 7, 2017

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

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.

SolarCity Stories December 23, 2016


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). expand full story

SolarCity Stories December 16, 2016


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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories December 14, 2016


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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SolarCity Stories December 6, 2016

SolarCity Buffalo_1

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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories December 2, 2016


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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SolarCity Stories December 1, 2016


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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories November 26, 2016


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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SolarCity Stories November 25, 2016


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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories November 21, 2016


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? expand full story

SolarCity Stories November 19, 2016


In this week’s top stories: Tesla Model 3 prototype sightings and new details, GM delays its Chevy Bolt EV rollout into 2017, the latest solar and energy news, and much more.

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SolarCity Stories November 17, 2016

tesla solarcity header

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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SolarCity Stories November 16, 2016


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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories November 12, 2016


In this week’s top stories: A first look at Tesla Model S’ Model 3-like Glass Roof and Autopilot in the wild, plans for ‘Gigafactory 2’ emerge, automakers lobby Trump, the latest solar news, and much more.

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SolarCity Stories November 9, 2016


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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories November 7, 2016


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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories November 4, 2016

SolarCity Buffalo_1

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. expand full story

SolarCity Stories November 1, 2016


Even though Tesla just released a new report with the clear goal to pitch the SolarCity acquisition to its shareholders, CEO Elon Musk is now saying that he would be surprised if the merger wouldn’t pass at this point.

He even referenced the early votes which he described as “overwhelmingly in favor” of the merger. expand full story


In a document released after market close today, Tesla is trying to sell the SolarCity acquisition to its shareholders with some ambitious projections, including that the SolarCity will generate “more than half a billion dollars in cash over the next 3 years” for the new combined company.

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SolarCity Stories October 31, 2016

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)

Tesla confirmed that it will “post additional information about the pending acquisition of SolarCity after market close on Tuesday, November 1, 2016″ – something the company announced earlier this month, but it is only now confirming the details. expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 25, 2016


In a SEC filing released today, SolarCity released a presentation that Tesla put together for its institutional shareholders in order to sell them on the proposed merger between the two companies. In the presentation, we see what appears to be the first official image of the ‘Tesla Solar Roof’.

Update:  a source with knowledge of the matter now says that it isn’t representative of the final product. expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 24, 2016


Tesla is set to jointly unveil with SolarCity its new ‘solar roof’ product on Friday. The event is planned ahead of a scheduled shareholders vote on a potential merger between the two companies. The companies recently sent a joint proxy statement package to shareholders sparking speculation about the new solar roof product. expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 22, 2016


In this week’s top stories: Tesla’s ‘Model 3 part 2’ announcement brings fully self-driving hardware to all its production cars, Tesla/SolarCity announces new Gigafactory-like deals with Panasonic, and we tell you about the largest solar power plant in the world being proposed in Nevada.  expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 18, 2016


Tesla already has a partnership with Airbnb to install ‘Destination chargers’ at the homes of Airbnb hosts, but if the merger with SolarCity goes through on November 17, the partnership will soon extend to also installing solar arrays through a new partnership between the home-sharing company and SolarCity. expand full story


We were quite surprised when Tesla and Panasonic announced a new deal to collaborate on the manufacturing of solar cells and modules at the SolarCity Buffalo factory. And that’s not only because it was announced at 11pm on a Sunday night, but because of the implications it has on the solar cells and modules to be produced at the factory.

SolarCity got the factory from its acquisition of Silevo, a solar cell and module manufacturer. The company was developing the plant, which was expected to go online next year, in order to manufacture its own high efficiency ‘Triex tunneling junction technology’ for cells and modules. expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 17, 2016

tesla solarcity header

Some industry analysts suggested that Elon Musk was pushing for Tesla to acquire SolarCity in order for the automaker to help secure financing for a company that consistently requires more cash to provide it services with little to no upfront cost.

But it looks like SolarCity is doing just fine on the capital raising front ahead of the merger as it just secured another $300 million fund for a total close to $1 billion since the board announced it accepted Tesla’s acquisition offer. expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 16, 2016

SolarCity Buffalo_1

Late Sunday evening, Tesla announced a new partnership with Panasonic in the form of a non-binding letter of intent to manufacture solar cells and modules at SolarCity’s Buffalo ‘Gigafactory’, which the company just took over during the past few weeks. expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 15, 2016


In this week’s top stories: Tesla/SolarCity announce upcoming events, Elon Musk challenges Big Coal, Google deploys its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans, and much more.

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SolarCity Stories October 12, 2016


SolarCity’s CEO, Lyndon Rive, said this week that the company should “definitely increase forecasts” for next year because of the upcoming new products that the company will unveil in a joint event with Tesla at the end of the month.

We already reported on how the integration of all three products to be unveiled on October 28, ‘solar roof’, Tesla Powerwall 2.0′, and Tesla charger, will be key to the overall offering of the new combined companies.

Though we learned today that the companies will not be merged by the time they unveil the new products since the proposed merger is only going to a shareholders vote on November 17. It’s likely that Tesla will phase out the ‘SolarCity’ brand after the merger since the company applied for trademarks to sell solar products under its own ‘Tesla’ brand, as we previously reported. expand full story

tesla solarcity header

In a joint SEC filing released today, Tesla and SolarCity confirmed that they will be holding the vote on the proposed merger on November 17. SolarCity’s board of directors approved the $2.6 billion deal in August and both companies have since been working to bring the proposal to a shareholders vote.

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SolarCity Stories October 10, 2016

tesla montreal

Last month, we reported that Tesla disclosed that it was fighting 4 different lawsuits from stockholders over the SolarCity merger alleging breached of fiduciary duties in connection with the proposed merger . We now learn that the number has gone up to 7 lawsuits against Tesla CEO Elon Musk ahead of a scheduled court hearing to consolidate the actions on October 14th. expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 9, 2016

Tesla Fremont factory 1

In a surprising follow-up after his announcement that Tesla will hold a product unveiling next week on the 17th, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla nor SolarCity will need to raise equity or debt before the end of the year, and “probably not in Q1 2017 either”. expand full story


Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter this afternoon to announce an unexpected product launch event on October 17th, just a week away. He further noted that the expected Tesla/SolarCity announcement, which he previously hoped to hold at the end of the month, would indeed be on October 28th… expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 8, 2016


In this week’s top stories: News that Tesla is doubling Powerpack energy capacity with the Gigafactory’s new battery cells, Toyota reveals a $27,100 price tag for its Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, details on SolarCity/Tesla’s upcoming ‘Solar Roof’, and much more.

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SolarCity Stories October 4, 2016


There’s been a lot of speculations since Elon Musk announced that Tesla and SolarCity will unveil a new ‘Solar Roof’ product. Some think that they will try to bring to market ‘solar shingles’, something several other companies have tried and failed to deliver successfully, while others think it will be a more innovative product.

Last month, we reported on a new product called “Solar Roofing” by Forward Labs. In his article about the concept, Seth suggested that it could give us an idea of what Tesla/SolarCity’s ‘Solar roof’ could be. It was only an educated guess, but as it turns out, a source with knowledge of the product program confirms that his intuition was right.  expand full story

SolarCity Stories October 1, 2016


In this week’s top stories: Solar costs are down 25% in five months, Tesla Gigafactory doubles in size in our September update,  Mercedes unveils its all-electric ‘EQ’ brand, and much more.

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SolarCity Stories September 28, 2016

tesla-motors-solar trademark

Until recently, Tesla hasn’t been really active on the merger and acquisition front. The automaker bought a small tool and die manufacturer in Michigan last year and it also unsuccessfully tried to buy a lithium startup for $325 million back in 2014.

But through its $2.6 billion proposed acquisition of SolarCity, the new ‘Tesla Solar’ would benefit from SolarCity’s several own acquisitions in recent years, including Zep Solar, a maker of mounting equipment for solar panels, Silevo, a maker of solar panels, and ILIOSS, a solar installer in Mexico – the first country in which SolarCity has been expanding outside of the US. expand full story

SolarCity keeps raising money ahead of Tesla merger, another ~$350 million for solar installations

Since the proposed merger with Tesla has been announced, SolarCity said that it was more difficult for the company to raise the capital needed to continue their solar installations due to the uncertainty around the situation.

But with another $347 million through two funds announced today, the company managed to raise over $600 million in just the past few weeks.

tesla solarcity header

Last month, a few weeks after SolarCity’s board officially accepted to bring to a shareholders vote the acquisition offer from Tesla, the solar installer announced some restructuring in the form of layoffs and pay cuts for the co-founders, Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive.

Today, SolarCity followed its restructuring at the executive level ahead of the merger. President and Chief Operating Officer Tanguy Serra will be leaving the company and Executive Vice President of Global Capital Markets, Radford Small, has been promoted to the role of Chief Financial Officer. expand full story

SolarCity Stories September 24, 2016


In this week’s top stories: A first look at Tesla’s v8.0 software update, VW’s electric range claims, and a Tesla Model S P100D takes on a $200,000 Lamborghini Huracan in this week’s top video.

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SolarCity Stories September 20, 2016


We don’t know much about the SolarCity solar panels that are coming out of the South Buffalo plant but Chairman and likely soon CEO of the combined Tesla/Solar City entity Elon Musk told investors last month:

“It’s a solar roof, as opposed to modules on a roof.”

Musk continued: expand full story

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