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Tesla’s new solar roof will cost less and keep your house off the Grid all day.

Announcing Buffalo Rising’s Envirotech Series

We all know that nature is a powerful force. I was reminded just how powerful after last week’s wind storm, when the next day I found shingles from my roof littered on the lawn. I’ve been driving around the last week, and observing all the damage that storm caused, getting quotes from roofers, dealing with insurance, and realizing that I was not alone. One contractor said that they received 300 hundred calls in one day. All that damage caused by one storm. My roof looks like it needs to be replaced, and by the look of the other roofs in my neighborhood, I am not alone. Which of course left me day-dreaming about upgrading to include the new Solar Panels being produced by Tesla and Panasonic in Buffalo.

In a press release dated December 2016, Tesla and Panasonic announced that “These high-efficiency PV cells and modules will be used to produce solar panels in the non-solar roof products. When production of the solar roof begins, Tesla will also incorporate Panasonic’s cells into the many kinds of solar glass tile roofs that Tesla will be manufacturing. All of these solar products will work seamlessly with Tesla’s energy storage products, Powerwall and Powerpack. Production of the first PV modules will begin in summer 2017, and will ramp to 1 Gigawatt of module production by 2019.”

Elon Musk said, “It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof actually cost less than normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account. So the basic proposition would be ‘Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, last twice as long, cost less and by the way generates electricity?” – My answer, “Yes! Take my money.”

Tesla’s website also states, “the sun provides more than enough energy in just one hour to supply our planet’s energy needs for an entire year. Your home can capture this free, abundant energy source through rooftop solar tiles, turning sunlight into electricity for immediate use or storage in a Powerwall battery.” Sounds like a win-win for me and the environment. Of course, I doubt we’ll be able to wait until they are available, production isn’t set to begin until mid-august. But no worries, I filled out my information, picked my favorite style, and will wait excitedly for more information…just in case.

Here’s Tesla’s video showing the solar panels and the Powerwall and Power pack:

Also, you may want to check out this video summarizing Tesla’s new solar panels:

You can sign up here to be notified when they are available. You can even choose between four different solar panel styles, pictured below.

At Buffalo Rising, we have always been interested in what’s new and what’s happening now. We also believe that we have a responsibility to our community and environment. So, with that in mind, we are creating a series dedicated to new and existing technologies that attempt to make the world a little cleaner and greener. The Buffalo Niagara Envirotech Series will feature a series of articles and events with industry leaders and experts, from WNY and around the world. This series is meant to foster a community dialog about what technologies can be implemented now, and what’s coming soon.Environmental technology or Enviro-Tech, can refer to green technologies and is sometimes called Cleantech. The purpose of these technologies is to curb the negative impacts of human involvement on our environment. Enviro-Tech can also refer to sustainable energy technologies or refer to a class of electronic devices that promote sustainable management of resources. 1


Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is a WNY native, born and raised in the Lincoln Park area of Tonawanda. She has been involved in local politics from an early age and is currently a Tonawanda Democratic Committee Member. As an avid equestrian and animal-lover, she trained and re-homed over 40 horses. For over a decade, she was an event planner with the law firm, Hodgson Russ LLP, and now owns her own marketing and event management company. She has worked with international and national organizations on large and small scale events. Jessica writes on politics and local events, as well as working with Buffalo Rising as a social reporter.

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  • NorthBuf

    The solar shingles if cheaper would be akin to having a “real” slate roof installed which is still expensive in my book. Still a great concept that will only get more affordable for all no matter what the president says.

    • Cirris

      True, These are designed for the 200K+ a year family who want their 1 million dollar homes outfitted with the latest Eco-friendly amenities. This isn’t for your local ditch digger and his one story ranch.

      • Johnny Le

        Tesla is still a small company and won’t be able to produce a lot of solar panels anyway. So no need to make it affordable for your local ditch diggers yet. Hopefully once Tesla have excess solar panels, then the price will be affordable for your ditch diggers.

        • No_Illusions

          SolarCity is the current market leader in home solar installation.

          They’re in a good place at the moment, as long as they don’t have a Blackberry moment.

          • Cirris

            Solar City’s biggest issue is labor cost per unit. China was already flooding the market with cheap units to drive US companies out of Business. Obama put the skids on that, I don’t think Trump will give “CHI NAH” leverage either. Elon Musk has been smart enough to keep on Trump’s good side, even while the butthurt leftists are salty with him for even cooperating.

      • No_Illusions

        Not yet. New technology is always more expensive at launch to recoup R&D costs. Eventually though prices are going to come down. If not from SolarCity, then by another company.

  • Cirris

    I keep saying this with every Elon Musk presentation. He’s a brilliant forward minded thinker. But damn does he stutter like a sexless nerd trying to talk to a girl when he speaks.

    • Johnny Le

      It’s great that it doesn’t hold him back. I admire him for it.

    • Cindy L Oliver

      Yes, brilliant. For marketing tho, hiring a professional public speaker will be money well spent. It’s distracting to listen through the verbal static. (No offense!) I am excited about this technology arriving for residential use.
      I’m in!

    • NorthBuf

      The general public doesn’t seem to mind, Musk incorporated is as popular and relevant as ever.

  • The main thing holding me back from considering one of these ‘solar’ roofs is the fact that a large portion of my roof faces north and doesn’t get any sun at all.
    I wonder what Tesla’s suggestion is for people like me without a majority of the sloping roof facing north.

    • No_Illusions

      Probably to wait until higher efficient solar cells are produced.

      Right now scientists created solar panels that are 6% efficient in overcast conditions. Still pretty low, but promising.

  • Bob

    “It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof actually cost less than normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account….” – My answer, “Yes! Take my money.”

    He’s most definitely not using your asphalt shingle roof as a comparison. Not even close.

    • G Orty

      I’d guess the comparison is in-kind. Glass PV tiles meant to look like slate would cost less than a conventional slate tile roof.

  • Johnny Pizza

    If Musk can deliver on what he’s saying it would be the first time I can think of that brand new state-of-the-art technology was cheaper than what it replaced. In other words I think that’s a bold faced lie.
    Considering the Model 3 Tesla will still be about 50% more than say a Ford Fusion, I have absolutely no reason to believe a solar roof will be cheaper than a shingle roof.