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Tesla begins production on solar roof panels

Solar panels will resemble traditional roof tiles

Last year, Tesla announced its intention to revolutionize the acquisition, storage, and use of solar energy with its own version of solar panels.

Unlike traditional solar panels, which are placed on top of a home’s existing roof, Tesla’s solar panels are used to form a solar roof. The solar panels are the roof tiles.

Tesla’s solar panels have a “sleek, low-profile design” and “blend into your roof with integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware,” the company said last year. The panels also boast “seamless integration” into Tesla’s home battery, the Powerwall.

Now, Tesla’s solar roof tiles are officially in production.

Bloomberg has the details:

Tesla Inc. has kicked off production of its long-awaited electricity-producing shingles that Elon Musk says will transform the rooftop solar industry.

Manufacturing of the textured-glass tiles began last month at Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York, according to an emailed statement from the Palo Alto, California-based company on Tuesday.

As Bloomberg notes, Tesla is producing the solar roof tiles at its factor in New York.

While the roof tiles are in production, what’s still unknown is how much Tesla’s solar roof will cost.

Solar panels usually come with a hefty price tag, which is often rolled into a lien on the home. In some cases, solar panel liens are given priority status over first mortgages.

In recent years, the adoption of solar panels grew thanks to the Obama administration pushing for new rules surrounding the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, also called PACE.

Two years ago, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that the Federal Housing Administration would begin insuring mortgages that also carry liens created by PACE program.

Recently, the Trump administration reversed that decision, stating that the FHA will stop insuring mortgages on homes that also carry PACE liens.

But that won’t stop Tesla, which got into the solar energy business a few years ago with the acquisition of SolarCity, from pushing forward with its solar roof.

Again, from Bloomberg:

Tesla, the biggest U.S. installer of rooftop-solar systems, piloted the product on the homes of several employees. The company expects to begin installing roofs for customers within the next few months.

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