The long-awaited product with which Tesla plans to revolutionize the rooftop solar industry is now available, according to an email from the company. Tesla has stated that it began manufacturing Solar Roof tiles last month at its gigafactory in Buffalo, New York.
Incidentally, Tesla also says Panasonic’s Heterojunction Intrinsic Thin Film (HIT) PV modules have been being made at the site since last summer. This was not widely reported and pv magazine staff were not aware of this, although we did report the beginning of pilot cell production in September.
Along with this milestone, the company reports that it has begun installation of the Solar Roof for “non-employee homeowners”, a reference to the pilot projects which were installed on the homes of top executives and other employees. Tesla notes that this included validating glass tile reliability and weatherization testing.
Tesla notes that equipment configuration is continuing at the Gigafactory, which has the aim to achieve 1 GW of annual cell and module production annually. This will make it the largest PV factory in the Western Hemisphere.
The company is also hiring beyond the approximately 500 employees who are currently working on the site.