USA’s SolarCity reveals plans for integrated solar roof product

US solar installer and manufacturer SolarCity has revealed plans to start making building integrated solar roofing and to target Australia as a key market for cheap and efficient solar and storage, in its results announcement last Tuesday.

SolarCity – which is headed up by the cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Lyndon and Peter Rive – recently agreed to Tesla’s buyout offer of $2.6 billion, putting in motion a merger that could have huge implications for both companies.

Musk – who joined the SolarCity conference call as the company’s chair and largest shareholder  – and the Rive brothers point to the potential to extend Tesla’s manufacturing knowhow to SolarCity’s own solar “gigafactory” in New York and to expand into other markets.
“Tesla is currently operating in over 40 countries, and as we have a presence around the world…we’d love to bring solar solutions to all of those countries – our solar battery solutions,” said SolarCity CTO Peter Rive during the conference call.

“And I think this is particularly powerful in states like Germany and Australia and in many other parts of the world. So, I think as there’s a lot of potential to amplify the expansion of sustainable energy generation.”

On manufacturing, Musk says SolarCity’s modules will stand out in the market thanks to their aesthetics, high conversion efficiencies, and low cost.

And, as he later let slip to analysts, a further plan for the Buffalo factory is for it to start making a couple of exciting new products, including a line on building integrated PV (BIPV).

“It’s not a thing on a roof, it is the roof,” said Musk. “Which is quite a difficult engineering challenge, and not something that is available really anywhere else that is at all good.

“I think this will be something that’s quite a standout and so one of the things I’m really very excited about the future,” he said.

Top image: Integrated solar roof product by Nu-Lok Solar.

© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd