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Green Building News

Tesla Reported Closer to Solar Panel Launch

In addition to its Solar Roof, the company plans to offer low-profile PV panels that are mounted much like standard arrays

Tesla's solar panel lineup will include this low-profile option. The company has posted a brief description of the panels on its website, but hasn't released any additional information about them.
Image Credit: Tesla

Tesla will be rolling not one but two new varieties of photovoltaic (PV) panels sometime this year, according to a number of published reports. Details remain skimpy.

Last fall, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced the development of the Solar Roof, a PV module hidden beneath a layer of tempered glass that could be manufactured to look like one of several varieties of roofing tiles. Citing a tweet from Musk, Bloomberg Technology reported that the Solar Roof will be offered for sale in April 2017 (this month), with installations beginning by the middle of the year.

Then, on April 9, the news website Electrek offered details about a second type of PV panel from Tesla. These are low-profile modules apparently mounted on top of a roof like a conventional array but with no visible hardware. Tesla describes them as “sleek,” with an “integrated front skirt” that keeps the rack and mounting hardware out of sight.

Reports said that each PV panel would have a top output of 325 watts. They will be manufactured by Tesla partner Panasonic at Tesla’s new Buffalo, New York, “Gigafactory 2.” (Panasonic already offers a 325-watt panel with an efficiency of 21.76%, Bloomberg said.)

One report said that the system would use mounting hardware developed by Zep Solar.

But potential buyers won’t get very far when trying to learn more about either PV product from Tesla. The original Electrek article is no longer available, apparently taken down by the news outlet for reasons that were not explained. And a Tesla spokeswoman declined to answer questions about either the new PV panels or the Solar Roof.

“Unfortunately we aren’t able to share any additional details on solar roof or panels at this point,” the company said.

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