Tesla: Buffalo factory has started making solar roof tiles

Tesla: Buffalo factory has started making solar roof tiles

Last month, Panasonic, which manufactures solar cells for Tesla's solar panels and solar roof tiles, was ramping up hiring to support a production expansion ahead of the start of solar roof tile manufacturing at Gigafactory 2.

A wider rollout of the new solar product appeared to be linked to transferring production from Tesla's pilot factory in Fremont to the bigger facility in Buffalo. Musk, after all, stated in a 2016 interview that he believes the 1.2 million-square-foot Buffalo, NY facility is capable of potentially producing up to 10 gigawatts of solar products every year.

Depending on the cost of electricity in each area, Tesla even estimates that over the 30-year life of its solar tiles, consumers could not only end up with significant savings, but even make profit.

Tesla has confirmed they are finally ready to start the installation of its premium solar roof tiles onto regular customers' houses.

They now have "roughly 500 employees" at the plant and the hiring process is ongoing, according to Tesla.

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That was before experiencing delays and therefore, installations are going to be dependent on the production ramp in Buffalo.

The company on Tuesday said hiring is ongoing and is on track to meet the job creation promises it made to the state in return for NY spending $750 million through the Buffalo Billion economic development plan to build the 1.2 million-square-foot factory and purchase a significant portion of the equipment that will be installed there.

These particular roof tiles aim to change the way that rooftop solar installations are perceived, as they will be able to produce clean electricity without compromising the "aesthetic" side of the roof replacing conventional bricks with energy-generating ones. "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".

As part of the tiles' testing process dozens of Tesla employees had the tiles installed in their own homes including Musk and Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel. The plant was originally a project of SolarCity, acquired by Tesla in November 2016. The President of the latter has claimed that the solar panel production had already started in October 2017. That doesn't include what is likely to be a substantial decline in its fourth-quarter deployments.

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