Fred Lambert, Electrek.co
April 9, 2017
The attention around Tesla’s solar products is mostly focused on its solar roof tiles, but those address only a new segment in the market – the new roof segment. Tesla is also trying to innovate for homeowners who don’t need a new roof, but who still want to generate their own solar energy.
This weekend, Tesla updated the ‘Energy’ section of its website to unveil new pictures – see above and below – of a new exclusive solar panel made by Panasonic. Electrek has also learned some details about this new product that will apparently shape the future of the company’s offering in the residential solar industry.
The new panels are part of Tesla’s deal with Panasonic at the ‘Gigafactory 2’ in Buffalo. They will be manufactured by Panasonic at Tesla’s factory for Tesla’s exclusive use. They don’t plan to make them available to third-party installers or individuals.
As of now and since before the acquisition by Tesla, SolarCity, like most solar installers, used solar panels from several different suppliers for its residential and commercial projects, but that’s about to change.
Tesla told Electrek that once the new Panasonic module will go into production at Gigafactory 2 this summer, they will be used for all new residential projects going forward.
Like the solar roof, the move is part of Elon Musk’s plan to offer solar products with better aesthetics in order to create a distinctive brand that can be differentiated from other installers on a product basis. He said when first announcing that they were working on such solar products:
“I think this is really a fundamental part of achieving differentiated product strategy.