SolarCity Stories March 2

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

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


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

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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