Tesla sharpens focus on solar


From pv magazine USA

Telsa is intensifying its focus on solar, CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call on Jan. 27.

“There were a few years there where we had to devote the whole company to Model 3 production and building … But now we [have] a little more bandwidth. We’re putting a lot of attention on solar, and it is growing rapidly. So, I think it will not be long before Tesla is, by far, the market leader in solar,” Musk said.

For Tesla, industry-leading pricing is central to its solar strategy. “[Getting the cost structure where it needs to be] is something that we’ve accomplished over the last year,” said CFO Zach Kirkhorn, without providing specifics.

Achieving better integration between the Tesla Powerwall, the Tesla Retrofit Solar, and the Tesla Roof is also an integral part of Telsa’s solar plans, Musk said. He added that the company is focused on reducing the amount of time and the “complexity of the install, and we’re making great progress in that regard.”

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Improvements to Tesla’s solar retrofit strategy – including simplification, cost reduction, and improved pricing – drove an 18% increase that lifted solar deployments to 205 MW in 2020. Even though Tesla missed analysts’ fourth-quarter earnings estimates, the company reported that total year-on-year quarterly revenue rose 46% to $10.74 billion, largely driven by growth in vehicle deliveries.

During the fourth quarter, Tesla said that storage and solar deployments came in at 1.584 MWh and 86 MW, respectively. On a year-on-year basis, storage deployment ballooned by 199%. Solar deployment increased by 59% compared with 2019.

On the storage side, 2020 was the first year in which total battery deployments surpassed 3 GWh in a single year, Tesla said. That was  an 83% increase against 2019. The company attributed much of this growth to the popularity of its utility-scale storage product, Megapack.

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