Tesla Wants to Install Solar Roof Shingles on Your House

solar-cells-1464935-640x480Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is about to close a deal to acquire SolarCity, and the combined company has big plans on a brand new way to install solar panels on your house.

Traditionally, large panels are anchored on top of a home’s existing roof. If Tesla CEO and SolarCity chairman Elon Musk has his way, that will all change soon.

“It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof,” said Musk recently, referencing the new solar shingles. “I think people are going to be really excited about what they see.”

The company will soon begin making the new modules at its $750 million manufacturing facility in Buffalo, New York. As for what to do with the energy once it’s generated, Musk has a plan for that too. Tesla wants to sell consumers high-quality home batteries to store the energy harvested from the sun.

In nearly all homeowners’ current solar setups, solar energy is sent back to the power company for a credit. Instead, Musk envisions a future where the energy stays inside the building. “Solar and batteries go together like peanut butter and jelly,” he quipped.

With about 5 million new roofs installed on people’s homes each year, the market for this new technology could be very big — especially if the roof tiles prove more durable than traditional roof shingles. This, Musk noted, is the target market for the solar shingles, hence it won’t cannibalize the company’s existing business that relies on installing solar panels on top of traditional roofs.

Tesla shares rose $0.85 (+0.38%) to $226.50 in premarket trading Thursday. TSLA has fallen 6% year-to-date, compared with a 7% gain in the benchmark S&P 500.


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