Tesla claims its New York factory built 4 MW of solar roof tiles last week, ‘enough for 1,000 homes’


Last year, Elon Musk said that the Tesla New York factory would be producing 1,000 solar glass roofs per week by the end of 2019. According to this tweet from the company — that mission has been accomplished, although a little late.

pv magazine has been tracking Tesla’s solar roof tile installations around the San Francisco Bay Area, and we’ve seen enough to make some observations.

  • Every box of shingles we examined came from Changzhou, China, not the factory in New York
  • While a standard shingle roof remove-and-install typically takes eight hours over two days, the Tesla installs we’ve tracked are running ten days to two weeks and requiring a team of five to six people — with additional people brought in to install storage and electrics.
  • The roofs are subjectively better looking than the composite shingles they are replacing. In some cases, they are better looking than the house they protect.
  • Tesla has been targeting simple shed or gable roofs with a minimum of roof features
  • No microinverters or optimizers are being used.

Here’s a link to an earlier Tesla roof tile photo gallery and pv magazine’s estimate of solar tile efficiency.

We’ve reached out to Alan Cooper, Director of Global Communications and Ignoring Press Inquiries at Tesla to verify the tweet and claimed volumes. We have not yet received a response.

Although Tesla has been advertising for roofers and solar tile installers, 1,000 rooftops built in a week would require 6,000 to 10,000 employees — given the current crew headcount and time to install.


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