When Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors acquired SolarCity earlier this year, there was much speculation as to whether or not this was a good idea. SolarCity’s business is based on installing solar power systems, and the company has struggled financially. But Musk must see something good in what SolarCity is doing. Indeed, there are definitely some parallels between the overall missions of Tesla Motors and SolarCity. the main one being to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. To that end, SolarCity recently announced it will begin installing solar roofs.
I now what you’re thinking. Haven’t solar panels been installed onto roofs for decades? Yes, that’s true. But SolarCity isn’t talking about retrofitting an existing roof with panels. Instead, the company’s new roofing system is made entirely of the solar panels themselves. SolarCity cites data that shows there are more than 5 million roof replacements per year in the U.S. Instead of having those roofs replaced with traditional shingles or other materials, and then possibly adding a solar system afterward, why not just build the new roof completely out of solar panels instead?
SolarCity is expected to roll out its new solar roofing product in the coming months. The company will also be able to install Tesla’s new whole-house batteries, allowing a home to run on solar power 24/7.