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SolarCity
SolarCity
Corporation is a subsidiary of Tesla, Inc.
Tesla, Inc.
that specializes in solar energy services and is headquartered in San Mateo, California. SolarCity
SolarCity
markets, manufactures, and installs residential and commercial solar panels in the US. It has also provided other energy services. In 2016, the company merged with Tesla, Inc.
Tesla, Inc.
and now offers energy storage services through Tesla, including a turnkey residential battery backup service that incorporates Tesla's Powerwall. The company, in partnership with Panasonic, operates the Tesla Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York, where it manufactures solar module components.

Contents

1 History

1.1 2016 workforce reduction 1.2 Subsidiary of Tesla Inc.
Tesla Inc.
(2016–present)

2 Locations 3 Products, services and technologies

3.1 Solar leasing 3.2 Commercial solar 3.3 Electric vehicle chargers 3.4 Energy efficiency evaluations and retrofits 3.5 SolarStrong project 3.6 Energy storage 3.7 Installation technology 3.8 Solar roof 3.9 Government-funded collaboration

4 Litigation and investigations

4.1 Buffalo Billion 4.2 Oregon Attorney General investigation 4.3 "Solar by Degree" project 4.4 Treasury Department inquiries 4.5 Customer litigation 4.6 Customer cancellation investigation 4.7 Federal settlement for allegations of False Claims Act violations 4.8 Vermont projects without approval

5 The Checks and Balances Project 6 Project financing and the Google Fund 7 Gigafactory 8 Trade organization 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

History[edit]

Original SolarCity
SolarCity
headquarters in Foster City, California

Installation vehicles with the original SolarCity
SolarCity
logo

SolarCity
SolarCity
vehicle with current SolarCity
SolarCity
logo at night

SolarCity
SolarCity
was founded in 2006 by brothers Peter and Lyndon Rive,[2] based on a suggestion for a solar company concept by their cousin, Elon Musk, who is the chairman and helped start the company.[3] By 2009, solar panels it had installed were generating 440 megawatts (MW) of power.[4][5] In 2013, according to GTM Research, SolarCity
SolarCity
was the leading residential solar installer in the U.S.[6] Solar Power World magazine listed it as the No. 2 overall solar installation company in the U.S.[7] SolarCity
SolarCity
purchased Paramount Solar from Paramount Equity
Paramount Equity
for $120 million in 2013.[8] It had installed panels generating 6,200 MW of power by 2014.[4] In 2015, SolarCity
SolarCity
installed 870MW of solar power,[9] approximately 28% of non-utility solar installation in the U.S. that year.[4] In October 2014, SolarCity
SolarCity
announced it would be offering up to $200 million in solar bonds to launch a new online website to buy the debt, the first registered public offering of such bonds in the United States.[10] In March 2016 SpaceX
SpaceX
bought $90 million of SolarCity stock.[11] In late 2015, SolarCity
SolarCity
withdrew from solar sales and installation in Nevada, following the decision by the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to raise the monthly service charge for rooftop solar customers and progressively reduce the return on solar energy sold back into the grid under the state's net metering rule.[12] Under the new rules, the monthly service charge imposed on Nevada Power's rooftop solar-generating customers rose from $12.75 to $17.90 and was scheduled to rise to $38.51 by January 1, 2020; simultaneously, the rates given to rooftop solar generating customers for their surplus solar energy were also clawed back and were to continue to decline over the ensuing four years.[12] As a result, SolarCity
SolarCity
eliminated more than 550 jobs in Nevada.[12] In June 2016, Musk's car and battery company, Tesla, submitted an offer to acquire SolarCity
SolarCity
for $2.5–3 billion.[13] According to Musk, the reason for this is "Creating a seamlessly integrated Tesla battery & solar power product that looks beautiful".[14] On August 1, 2016, SolarCity
SolarCity
accepted Tesla Motors' offer of 2.6 billion. The merger was completed later in 2016.[15][16] 2016 workforce reduction[edit] In 2015, the number of employees had grown by 68.7%.[17] At the end of 2015, SolarCity
SolarCity
had 15,273 employees; at the end of 2016, it had 12,243 employees.[18] SolarCity
SolarCity
eliminated 20% of its total workforce in 2016.[18] The company did so to preserve cash.[19] The job cuts affected workers across the entire company:[18][17] 22% of jobs were cut in operations, installations, and manufacturing; 27% in sales and marketing. 2016 was the first year in the company's history that SolarCity
SolarCity
cut its workforce.[20] In August 2016, it was announced that the company planned to take up $5 million in charges to cover its planned layoffs. The company also cut the salaries of its two co-founders from $275,000 to $1 per year.[21] Subsidiary of Tesla Inc.
Tesla Inc.
(2016–present)[edit] On August 1, 2016, Tesla announced in a joint statement with SolarCity it would be acquiring the company in an all-stock $2.6 billion merger. Tesla's mission since its inception has been to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. As part of Elon Musk's "The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan", Tesla sought to expedite the world's move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy.[22] The announcement cited operational and cost "synergies", and integrated products would be realized with the merger. The action was approved by antitrust regulators.[23][24] As of August 2016[update], Musk owned 22% of SolarCity
SolarCity
stock.[25] More than 85% of unaffiliated shareholders from Tesla and SolarCity
SolarCity
voted to approve the acquisition on November 17, 2016,[26][27] which was closed on the morning of November 21, 2016.[16] Tesla's 2017 goals are to launch a new car, open a large battery factory, and "perfect autonomous driving". In November 2016 Musk called the merger a "no-brainer" for SolarCity. He said that it was an accident of history that Tesla and SolarCity
SolarCity
were two separate companies before the merger.[28] Lyndon Rive
Lyndon Rive
left SolarCity
SolarCity
in June 2017,[29] and Peter Rive announced in July 2017 he would be leaving also.[30] The chief policy officer of SolarCity, John Wellinghoff, left SolarCity
SolarCity
in April 2017.[31] Gigafactory 2
Gigafactory 2
opened in Buffalo in late August 2017. Locations[edit] Headquarters are in San Mateo, California, while the company uses a distributed service model in which it provides installation from local operations centers. As of May 2016, SolarCity
SolarCity
operates in 20 jurisdictions: Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and 18 other states on the West Coast, in the Southwest, and in the Northeast.[32] Products, services and technologies[edit] Solar leasing[edit] In 2008, SolarCity
SolarCity
entered the solar leasing market with a new solar lease option for homeowners: leasing rooftop solar to customers paying no upfront costs. In exchange, customers paid for 20 years for power generated by those panels.[33] SolarCity's solar lease allowed some homeowners, by adopting solar power, to pay less each month than they previously paid for electricity from the utility company.[34][35] The "no-money-down solar" business model became the most popular in the USA[36] and increased installations but also added to SolarCity's debt, accounting for about half of the company's over $3 billion debt.[37] Beginning in 2017, the company is shifting its business model to one where customers buy the solar systems with cash or via financing.[18] Tesla, the parent company, is also changing how solar is sold: in Tesla's stores, which will save on advertising compared to door to door sales which reached new customers.[19][38] Solar leasing proved harder to expand in Europe[39] despite attempts by incumbents such as RWE.[40] Commercial solar[edit] In May 2008, the company completed what was, at the time, the largest commercial solar installation in San Jose on the North Campus of eBay. That July, SolarCity
SolarCity
completed what was then the largest commercial solar installation in San Francisco, for British Motor Car Distributors, consisting of 1,606 solar photovoltaic panels.[41][42] SolarCity
SolarCity
introduced new financing options for businesses in 2009[43] and has built multiple solar projects for other large organizations including Walmart,[44][45] Intel,[46] and the U.S. military.[47] Electric vehicle chargers[edit] See also: Charging station SolarCity
SolarCity
entered the electric car charging business in 2006 by buying the SolSource Energy business of Clean Fuel Connections, Inc., which was reported to be finalized in 2009[48] and announced in 2011 a partnership with Rabobank
Rabobank
to make electric car charging available for free to owners of Tesla's vehicles traveling on U.S. Route 101 in California
California
between San Francisco
San Francisco
and Los Angeles. The technology was open to all makes of cars that can make use of the same charging technology.[49] In 2011, the company announced it would install electric car chargers that could charge a wide range of EVs in all of its service territories.[50][51][needs update] Energy efficiency evaluations and retrofits[edit] In 2010, SolarCity
SolarCity
acquired Building Solutions, a home energy audit firm, and began to offer energy efficiency evaluations and upgrades.[52] SolarCity
SolarCity
worked with Admiral's Bank of Boston in March 2012 to make a new loan available to finance energy efficiency improvements[53] and expanded its energy efficiency services to the East Coast.[54] SolarStrong project[edit] SolarStrong is SolarCity's 5-year plan to build more than $1 billion in solar photovoltaic projects for privatized military housing communities across the United States, announced in late 2011.[55] SolarCity
SolarCity
plans to work with the country's leading privatized military housing developers to install, own and operate rooftop solar installations and provide solar electricity at a lower cost than utility power. SolarStrong is ultimately expected to create up to 300 megawatts of solar generation capacity that could provide power to as many as 120,000 military housing units, which would make it the largest residential photovoltaic project in American history if completed. In November 2011, SolarCity
SolarCity
and Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced that they have agreed to terms on initial debt financing for SolarStrong.[56] Energy storage[edit] Tesla and Panasonic
Panasonic
opened the Gigafactory, a battery factory in Nevada, in 2016, where they make a battery storage device called Powerwall that stores solar power for use as a battery backup. The device is sold to companies including SolarCity.[57][58] SolarCity
SolarCity
ran a 2015 pilot project in 500 California
California
houses, using 10-kilowatt-hour battery packs,[59][60] using the GridLogic software for PowerWalls as a grid backup resource.[61] This concept is also being tested in Vermont.[62] Installation technology[edit] SolarCity
SolarCity
provides technologies for mounting solar panels on rooftops developed by Zep Solar, which it acquired in 2013.[63] Zep is best known for inventing a system that allows PV installers to "snap together" panels on the roof more quickly than other installation approaches to shorten installation time.[64] Zep Solar's technology eliminates the need for mounting rails on many roof types.[65] Solar roof[edit] In August 2016, Musk announced that Solar City would be introducing a new product called the Tesla Solar Roof
Tesla Solar Roof
where the photovoltaic electrical energy generating devices and system would make up an entire roof surface, rather than merely be the mounting of solar panels on an existing roof, stating "It’s not a thing on a roof. It is the roof,"[66] as solar energy systems have generally been designed and installed during the early decades of terrestrial solar power.[67] Assorted styles of solar roof tiles, made of glass, were unveiled at Universal Studios' Colonial Street
Colonial Street
backlot street set in late October 2016. Also unveiled was the Tesla Powerwall 2, a home battery product designed to store surplus power, either from the tiles or from the grid.[68] Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports
compared the estimated economy of solar roofs to traditional roofing.[69][70] As of August 2017, production of tiles for the Tesla Solar Roof
Tesla Solar Roof
had begun at the company's Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Gigafactory 2.[71] In January 2018, Tesla announced, after testing on employees' roofs, that it would begin installing the product on commercial customers' homes "within the next few months".[72] Government-funded collaboration[edit] The SunShot Initiative is a national effort to support solar energy adoption to make solar energy affordable for all Americans. It is run by the US Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office and funds research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects. It is a collaboration of private companies, universities, state and local governments, and nonprofits, as well as national laboratories. The program began in 2011 with the initial goal of making solar energy competitive with traditional forms of electricity by 2020. By 2016, the program achieved 70% of the progress towards the 2020 goal.[73] In the fiscal year 2012 Congressional budget, the program was appropriated $457 million. According to the US Department of Energy's appropriation request for that year, "The program also encourages Systems Integration by developing radically new approaches to reduce the cost and improve reliability and functionality of power electronics and supporting industry development through test and evaluation standards, and tools for understanding grid integration issues."[74] SolarCity
SolarCity
was involved in a collaboration with the program along with the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
and Hawaiian Electric Industries. Using government and taxpayer funds, SolarCity
SolarCity
helped 2,500 Hawaii residential customers connect their solar power systems to the grid by the end of December 2015.[75] Litigation and investigations[edit] Buffalo Billion[edit] Buffalo Billion is a billion-dollar program from the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The program's intention is to revitalize Buffalo New York in areas across Western New York. One of the main features of the program is a 1.2 million square foot solar panel factory called SolarCity
SolarCity
RiverBend. It will be owned by SolarCity. The factory "is expected to become the largest manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
when it opens". Hiring for the factory is expected in spring of 2017 and the factory is expected to begin producing solar cells by the summer of 2017.[76] The factory will be located in an "innovation hub" called the High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend. The state appropriated $750 million in funding for the hub. According to Daily Energy Insider, "The facility will have one gigawatt of annual solar capacity when it reaches full production and is expected to produce about 10,000 solar panels per day." SolarCity
SolarCity
is required to spend $5 billion over the next decade on the facility and create more than 1,460 direct manufacturing jobs.[76] As of May 2016, federal investigators were investigating how money and contracts within the Buffalo Billion program were distributed. SolarCity
SolarCity
was a partner in the program. The company intended to open a large solar panel factory on the Buffalo River. In May 2016, New York State officials postponed the approval of almost $500 million for the SolarCity
SolarCity
project. According to The New York Times, Buffalo Billion will benefit "a tangle of well-connected players – including developers and frequent donors to the governor – who have feasted on Buffalo Billion money".[77] On April 29, 2016, then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara
Preet Bharara
(of the Southern District of New York) began an investigation into state construction projects and contracts. Buffalo Billion was a part of that investigation. Many companies have been subpoenaed, and have provided information, including SolarCity
SolarCity
and the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. SolarCity
SolarCity
is not the subject or focus of the investigation, and not involved in the vendor selection or contracting.[78] The United States
United States
attorney's office for the Southern District of New York is leading a federal inquiry into Buffalo Billion. Prosecutors subpoenaed several state institutions who were responsible for SolarCity
SolarCity
and other components of the Buffalo Billion project. The subpoenas sought information about how government-funded programs were awarded and what the role was of state officials who selected the winners. Cuomo has strongly defended the project noting that there has been a decrease in unemployment and an increase in spending around the Buffalo area.[77] In February, three executives who worked for LPCiminelli Development who were arrested in 2016 in a federal bid-rigging investigation motioned to have the case against them either dismissed or moved from Manhattan to Buffalo. The three men face a 14-count indictment for wire fraud and bribery and alleged bid rigging of the SolarCity RiverBend construction contract. Additionally, five other people have been charged with related crimes. The trials will begin in late spring of 2017.[76] An Albany firm called Whitman Osterman and Hannah represented both LPCiminelli and Fort Schuyler Management Corporation, which was a subsidiary of SUNY Polytechnic that was awarded the contract to develop the site where SolarCity
SolarCity
is being built. The governor's office said that the formal awarding of the SolarCity
SolarCity
contract was made by Fort Schuyler on behalf of the state. On May 18, 2016, the Public Authorities Control Board delayed a meeting at which it was set to approve $485 million in new funds for SolarCity. As late as May 2016 SolarCity
SolarCity
said that it was cooperating with federal agents who had been in contact with the company.[77] The New York state legislature plans to approve a budget by April 1, 2017 that would give $500 million more into the Buffalo Billion program. In return, the legislature wants the Cuomo administration to put more transparency into how the money is spent.[76] Oregon Attorney General investigation[edit] On March 30, 2017, The Oregonian
The Oregonian
said that Campaign for Accountability, a D.C.-based consumer advocacy group, and other groups have asked Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
Ellen Rosenblum
to investigate solar panel sales practices[79] that "are designed to trick homeowners into buying or leasing solar panels" in violation of Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act.[80] According to The Oregonian, the request to Rosenblum "singled out one company: California-based SolarCity. It outlined several complaints filed against the solar giant by Oregonians who claimed they'd been misled about costs, tax credits and energy savings by the company."[80] The Campaign for Accountability reviewed 58 complaints that consumers filed with the Oregon Department of Justice
Oregon Department of Justice
and said that the complaints indicated "a widespread pattern of apparent fraud and abuse by solar companies".[80] The Oregon Solar Energy Industry Association, however, said that it examined the complaints and "found the numbers to be relatively low – lower than those being cited by the Campaign for Accountability".[80] "Solar by Degree" project[edit] The company is involved in a case concerning Martin Shain, the lead energy consultant in a solar power project at two Oregon universities. Shain was indicted for forgery in Marion County in August 2016. He is a consultant for BacGen Technologies in Seattle, a key player in the controversial $24 million "Solar by Degree" project and is accused of "creating a phony invoice from a fictional subcontractor that was pivotal in getting nearly $12 million in tax credits from the Oregon Department of Energy".[81] The project began in 2013 and was sponsored by the Oregon University System; thousands of solar panels, generating millions of kilowatts of power per year, were constructed on 21 acres on the campuses of Oregon State University
Oregon State University
and the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. The state's case revolves around two documents, which include an invoice from Solar Foundations Systems dated February 25, 2011, and a December 2011 letter signed by Ryan Davies, the former head of RedCo, a Utah-based company, which was the second developer on the project. According to KOIN-TV, "The Davies letter reported $210,000 had been spent toward the project and that construction was progressing."[82] The Solar Foundations invoice contains details of the construction of solar arrays. The invoice was necessary to provide proof of work on the project to get tax credits from the state. The "Solar by Degree" project received the tax credits, but it was later shown that the company named on the invoice, Solar Foundations, does not exist. In addition, Davies claims he did not write nor has ever seen the RedCo letter in question and that his name was forged. Relying on this evidence, the state claims Shain forged both documents. Shain denies forging the invoice and claims it was given to him by someone else involved in the project.[83] The tax credits involved were given to SolarCity, the third developer in the project, along with its financial backers. According to The Oregonian, "Those backers provide upfront financing for the projects in exchange for a share of the project revenues and the federal and state tax credits, which they can use to offset their own taxes."[81] SolarCity
SolarCity
stated, "We financed and constructed the projects in accord with the requirements of the Oregon Department of Energy."[81] The company argues that the state hired Shain, and it had no knowledge of the phony documents in question, otherwise it would have not pursued the endeavor.[81] Treasury Department inquiries[edit] In 2012, the Treasury Department began investigative interviews of solar firms regarding their fair market value calculations for constructed solar energy systems. The IRS has yet to determine whether or not these values have been inflated. In a 2016 federal filing, SolarCity
SolarCity
wrote, "If the Internal Revenue Service or the U.S. Treasury Department were to object to amounts we have claimed as too high of a fair market value on such systems, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and prospects." The firm stated, however, that its values were correct and complied with the Treasury Department guidelines. If the Treasury Department or IRS disagrees, SolarCity
SolarCity
and other firms could be forced to reimburse institutions that purchase their tax credits as investments.[84] SolarCity
SolarCity
received roughly $501.2 million in credits up until December 31, 2015. In SolarCity's 2015 annual report, a note was made stating that if the government determines misrepresentations were made, "the Department of Justice could bring a civil action to recover amounts it believes were improperly paid to us".[84] Customer litigation[edit] Since 2006, SolarCity
SolarCity
has lowered the minimum FICO
FICO
score required for customers to get the leasing deals. It uses the score of 650 (a "fair" credit rating) as the cutoff. However, between 2014 and 2017, SolarCity
SolarCity
signed long-term lease agreements with at least 14 homeowner customers right before the customers defaulted on their mortgages. The company has been named in 139 lawsuits where it is the defendant in legal proceedings based on "residential foreclosure action".[85] In its response, SolarCity
SolarCity
said in a statement to the New York Times, "Out of more than 305,000 installed customers, SolarCity
SolarCity
is currently involved in 139 such proceedings. The litigation is not adversarial – being named in the foreclosure proceeding provides us with advance notice that we need to reassign a contract, and many are immediately resolved with the relevant bank."[85] Customer cancellation investigation[edit] The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating Sunrun and SolarCity
SolarCity
in May 2017, looking into whether they adequately disclosed canceled contracts. "Some customers say they canceled contracts after being strong-armed into solar-energy deals" and there have been hundreds of complaints to state attorneys general.[86] The federal government is investigating whether solar companies are "masking how many customers they are losing". The SEC is involved because "investors use that cancellation metric as one way to gauge the companies' health".[86] According to the Wall Street Journal, "To generate business, solar companies have long relied on thousands of salespeople who knock on doors, make hundreds of cold calls and even trail people as they shop at retailers like Home Depot Inc., according to salespeople, executives and homeowners."[86]

Some customers say they were strong-armed into buying solar-energy systems by sales representatives who threatened to sue them if they didn't proceed with a project or to place a so-called mechanic's lien on their homes—a measure used to force a homeowner to pay for a home-improvement project. Others say they didn't realize they had actually signed contracts."[86]

Federal settlement for allegations of False Claims Act violations[edit] In September 2017, as part of a legal settlement with the federal government, SolarCity
SolarCity
agreed to pay a $29.5 million penalty regarding allegations that the company overstated the cost of facilities it developed and submitted claims for under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which would be a violation of the False Claims Act. SolarCity
SolarCity
dropped its lawsuit, Sequoia Pacific Solar I, LLC v. United States—in which the company alleged the federal government owed it more money—as part of the settlement.[87] As part of the settlement, the company agreed to “release all pending and future claims against the U.S. for additional payments from the grant program. The move ended a five-year investigation.[88] Vermont projects without approval[edit] In June 2017 the Vermont Public Service Board found that SolarCity
SolarCity
was implementing solar projects in Vermont without approval required by law. According to Vermont Public Radio, Public Service Board Chair Anthony Roisman sent a letter to SolarCity
SolarCity
warning the company that it needed to get regulatory approval before installing solar generation equipment and attaching it to the state's electrical grid. Roisman wrote, "Over the past few months, my office has observed a pattern of procedural issues with net-metering applications being pursued by your company.” Officials at the company worked quickly to respond to the issue.[89] The Checks and Balances Project[edit] SolarCity
SolarCity
indirectly funds a political advocacy group known as the Checks and Balances Project. The project has criticized the elected members of the Arizona Corporation Commission
Arizona Corporation Commission
(the regulatory body that oversees electricity and utilities in Arizona) for being too well-connected to utility companies. The Checks and Balances Project has filed several requests for public records from the Arizona Corporation Commission. In July 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed the head of Checks and Balances as part of a larger criminal investigation into the financing of certain Arizona statewide races in 2014.[90] Project financing and the Google Fund[edit] SolarCity
SolarCity
partners with banks, large corporations, and the asset-backed[91] market to create project finance funds to finance its lease and PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) options. SolarCity's financing partners have included Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citi, Morgan Stanley, National Bank of Arizona
National Bank of Arizona
and U.S. Bancorp, among others.[92][full citation needed] Among SolarCity's better-known financing partnerships was a $280 million fund created with Google to finance residential solar installations in June 2011. The Google Fund was the largest fund of its kind in the U.S., and Google's largest investment in clean energy.[93] Gigafactory[edit] Main article: Gigafactory 2 In 2014, SolarCity
SolarCity
announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Buffalo, New York, in coordination with the SUNY Polytechnic Institute after acquiring Silevo, a maker of high-efficiency solar modules. The initial manufacturing complex will be a 1.2-million-square-foot (110,000 m2) facility that will cost $900 million and employ 1,500 workers in Buffalo and 5,000 statewide.[94] With a planned capacity of one gigawatt of solar panels annually by 2019, the new plant would be the largest solar plant in the U.S.[95] Groundbreaking for the project occurred in September 2014 with a target completion date of early 2016.[96] The facility would be the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.[97][98] Panasonic
Panasonic
is to handle production at the Buffalo plant, investing $256 million.[99] Panasonic
Panasonic
and SolarCity/Silevo are developing similar but somewhat different HIT-technology, and Panasonic
Panasonic
hopes to use SolarCity's 6-inch (150 mm) wafers combining the two companies' technologies at an efficiency of 22%.[100][101] SolarCity
SolarCity
expects demand to outstrip the Buffalo production of 10,000 solar panels per day, and buys solar equipment from other manufacturers until more factories can be built.[102] In February 2016, CEO Lyndon Rive
Lyndon Rive
announced that due to delays incurred in the supply of machinery for the plant, production would begin in summer 2017.[103] New York State owns the building and most of the equipment, leasing it to SolarCity. Most of the work was completed by November 2016, when the Buffalo Billion project was under investigation, delaying state payments to contractors, but not influencing progress on completion of construction.[104] SolarCity started hiring for the factory in December 2016.[105] Elon Musk
Elon Musk
announced in 2017 that production of Tesla's solar roof products would be moved to the Buffalo plant at the end of 2017.[106] As of August 2017, production of solar roof tiles had begun at the factory, and Tesla expected to continue to ramp up production through the rest of the year.[71] Trade organization[edit] The company is one of the founding members of The Alliance for Solar Choice, or TASC, which is a rooftop photovoltaic power station solar trade organization.[107] See also[edit]

Charging station Efficient energy use List of energy storage projects Solar power

References[edit]

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for less than your cable bill Environment Forum". Blogs.reuters.com. 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2011-10-15.  ^ Earnest, John (2008-09-27). "Leasing a solar-power system". SignOnSanDiego.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2011-10-15.  ^ Sistek, Hanna (2008-07-18). " SolarCity
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provides SF power below grid price Green Tech - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2011-10-15.  ^ "Why Lease When You Can Own? Rooftop Solar Facing Tough Question". Bloomberg.com. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2017-12-15.  ^ "Tesla- SolarCity
SolarCity
merger: How risky is all that debt?". The Buffalo News. 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2017-12-15.  ^ "Tesla largely responsible for slide in U.S. home solar sales: report". Reuters. 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2017-12-15.  ^ "What's holding back European rooftop solar?". Recharge Renewable energy news and articles. 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2017-12-15.  ^ "RWE and Conergy Partner Up to Bring Solar Leases to Commercial Customers in Europe". Retrieved 2017-12-15.  ^ "Solar Panel Installation, Commercial British Motors". SolarCity.  ^ "Solar Powered Business Leader". San Francisco
San Francisco
Department of the Environment.  ^ " SolarCity
SolarCity
increases the scope of its PPA Program; Gartner expects commercial solar PPA market to account for 26 % of the solar PPA market in 2009". solarserver.com. solarserver.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2015.  ^ Francisco, San (2011-09-21). " SolarCity
SolarCity
to put solar on 60 more California
California
Wal-Mart stores".  ^ " SolarCity
SolarCity
to install solar panel & battery combo for Walmarts". Gigaom.com. Aug 7, 2012.  ^ "Intel To Install 6 Acre Solar Installation in CA Solar Energy". solarenergy.net. Retrieved 2014-03-15.  ^ "Sun helps power new Davis-Monthan homes". airforcetimes.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2014-03-15.  ^ " SolarCity
SolarCity
Installs Electric Car Chargers Along Cal Highway : Greentech Media". greentechmedia.com. Retrieved 2014-03-15.  ^ " SolarCity
SolarCity
Installs Electric Car Chargers Along Cal Highway". Greentech Media. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2011-10-15.  ^ VentureBeat. "Solar-leasing startup SolarCity
SolarCity
sells subsidized electric car chargers." ^ CNET. " SolarCity
SolarCity
to offer solar-powered EV chargers." ^ "Solar City Adds Energy Efficiency to Solar Finance, Design and Monitoring". Greentech Media. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2011-10-15.  ^ " SolarCity
SolarCity
Charges Into Home Efficiency With Admirals Bank : Greentech Media". greentechmedia.com. Retrieved 2014-03-15.  ^ "How SolarCity
SolarCity
Makes Energy Efficiency Easy". Time. 2012-03-28.  ^ Cardwell, Diane (2011-11-30). " SolarCity
SolarCity
Wins Financing for Military Housing Plan". The New York Times.  ^ " SolarCity
SolarCity
and Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Move Forward With Project SolarStrong, Expected to Build More Than $1 Billion in Solar Projects". Marketwatch. 30 November 2011. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012.  ^ "Tesla charges into home battery market despite challenges". Associated Press. 1 May 2015.  ^ "Tesla Energy is Elon Musk's battery system that can power homes, businesses and the world". The Verge. 1 May 2015.  ^ "Why Tesla's battery for your home should terrify utilities". The Verge. 13 February 2015.  ^ "Solar City Announces Power Wall". SolarCity. 7 July 2015.  ^ https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/pge-to-plug-enphase-smart-inverters-solarcity-storage-systems-into-new-derm ^ "Tesla and Green Mountain Power: Get Your Behind-the-Meter Battery for $15 a Month". 12 May 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.  ^ Wang, Ucilia. " SolarCity
SolarCity
Buys Zep To Cut Labor Time For Rooftop Solar". Retrieved 1 August 2016.  ^ " SolarCity
SolarCity
Aims Zep Solar Technology at Commercial Rooftops". Retrieved 1 August 2016.  ^ "Will Railed Solar Racking Systems Soon Be Obsolete in the Residential Sector?". Retrieved 1 August 2016.  ^ Milman, Oliver (2016-08-19). " Elon Musk
Elon Musk
leads Tesla effort to build house roofs entirely out of solar panels". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-12-19.  ^ Elon Musk
Elon Musk
& SolarCity
SolarCity
CTO Peter Rive Announce "Solar Roof" (Not "Solar On The Roof") CleanTechnica ^ "Tesla shows off solar roof tiles". BBC. 29 October 2016.  ^ DiClerico, Daniel (2 November 2016). "Here's How Much Tesla's New Solar Roof Could Cost". Consumer Reports. Retrieved 20 November 2016.  ^ Robinson, David (18 November 2016). "Price of Tesla's solar shingles may not be through the roof". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 20 November 2016. Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports
suggested the upfront cost could be upwards of $70,000, before incentives  ^ a b Ayre, James. "Solar Roof Tile Production At Tesla’s Buffalo “Gigafactory” Now Up & Running", CleanTechnica.com, September 7, 2017 ^ Eckhouse, Brian. "Tesla's New York Gigafactory Kicks Off Solar Roof Production", Bloomberg.com, January 9, 2018 ^ "About the SunShot Initiative Department of Energy". energy.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-14.  ^ "Overview: Appropriation by Program". Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved 2017-02-14. ^ "EERE Success Story—SunShot-funded Advanced Inverter Testing Enables 2,500 Solar Energy Systems to Connect to Hawaii's Electric Grid". Energy.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-14.  ^ a b c d Riley, Kim (2017-03-24). "Success of Buffalo Billion-backed SolarCity
SolarCity
factory remains elusive". Daily Energy Insider. Retrieved 2017-03-28.  ^ a b c Mckinley, Jesse; Yee, Vivian (2016-05-24). "$1 Billion Went to Buffalo. Cuomo Donors Benefited". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-02.  ^ Harrington, Mark (2016-05-12). "Solar firm acknowledges subpoena in probe". Newsday. Retrieved 2016-05-16.  ^ "Solar: Group wants Oregon AG to investigate sales practices". The Washington Times. 2017-03-31. Retrieved 2017-04-20.  ^ a b c d Sickinger, Ted (2017-03-30). "Consumer group asks state to investigate solar companies' sales practices". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2017-04-20.  ^ a b c d Manning, Jeff (2016-08-29). "Consultant to university solar project charged with forgery". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2016-11-07.  ^ "Solar project consultant charged with fraud in Oregon". KOIN
KOIN
6. 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2016-11-07.  ^ "Solar project consultant charged with fraud in Oregon". The Washington Times. 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2016-11-07.  ^ a b Mullins, Brody; Dugan, Ianthe Jeanne; Rubin, Richard (2016-09-15). "Lawmakers Probe Tax Incentives Received by Solar-Energy Firms". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-11-23.  ^ a b Ivory, Danielle; Cardwell, Diane (2017-02-22). "SolarCity's Ties to Foreclosure
Foreclosure
Cases Raise Questions on Vetting Policies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-17.  ^ a b c d Grind, Kirsten (2017-05-03). "SEC Probes Solar Companies Over Disclosure of Customer Cancellations". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-05-05.  ^ http://www.utilitydive.com/news/solarcity-to-pay-295m-to-settle-false-claims-allegations/505914/ ^ Riley, Kim (2017-09-25). "Tesla's SolarCity
SolarCity
settles alleged fraud claims with federal government". Daily Energy Insider. Retrieved 2017-10-10.  ^ Dobbs, Taylor (2017-06-30). "State Says SolarCity
SolarCity
Wasn't Following Permit Process". Vermont Public Radio (VPR). Retrieved 2017-10-18.  ^ "Advocacy group briefs FBI in Arizona Corporation Commission inquiry". Arizona Republic. 2016-07-06. Retrieved 2016-07-22.  ^ SolarCity
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Announces Proposed Securitization Company press release, 4 November 2013 ^ "10_ SolarCity
SolarCity
Fast Company Business + Innovation". fastcompany.com. Retrieved 2014-03-15.  ^ "Google invests $280 million in SolarCity". CNN. 2011-06-14.  ^ Robinson, David (August 26, 2016). " SolarCity
SolarCity
construction nears completion". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2016-11-13.  ^ Gold, Russel (June 17, 2014). " SolarCity
SolarCity
Buys Silevo, a Module Maker". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on June 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-19.  ^ " SolarCity
SolarCity
investing $5B in Buffalo, creating 3,000 jobs". LIN Television Corporation. September 23, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-24.  ^ Craig, Susanne (October 25, 2015). "Despite Risks, Cuomo Bets on Solar Power to Lift Buffalo". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-27.  ^ "Governor Cuomo Celebrates "Topping Off" of SolarCity
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Gigafactory". New York State. August 4, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-27.  ^ Osborne, Mark (2017-01-16). "Tesla/SolarCity/Silevo/ Panasonic
Panasonic
1GW Buffalo fab's known unknowns". PV-Tech. Archived from the original on 2017-01-17. Retrieved 2017-01-20.  ^ Stromsta, Karl-Erik (October 24, 2016). " Panasonic
Panasonic
to 'integrate' SolarCity's PV technology at New York factory". Recharge. Retrieved 2016-10-24.  ^ Robinson, David (2016-11-03). " SolarCity
SolarCity
moving into its giant new RiverBend factory". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2016-11-20. Panasonic
Panasonic
and SolarCity
SolarCity
are using similar technology to produce high-efficiency solar panels, which Rive believes will allow the companies to combine elements from each firm's technology, leading to the production of a "hybrid" solar cell  ^ Miner, Dan (October 23, 2015). "Expect New York state to have input in next SolarCity
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factory". Buffalo Business First. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 2016-11-22.  ^ Robinson, David (February 10, 2016). " SolarCity
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delaying Buffalo factory production". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2016-12-09.  ^ Robinson, David (November 28, 2016). "State is late paying Riverbend contractors again". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2016-11-29.  ^ Robinson, David (December 5, 2016). " SolarCity
SolarCity
begins its hunt for factory workers". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2016-12-09.  ^ Robinson, David. "Tesla says it will start making solar roofs in Buffalo by end of year", The Buffalo News, August 2, 2017 ^ " The Alliance for Solar Choice
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- About Us". TASC. Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2015-03-10. 

External links[edit]

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External image

38 photos of factory construction

Official SolarCity
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website SolarCity
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Supplies 2.7 MW of Energy Going solar as a neighborhood group can make installation more affordable Paramount Energy Solutions is a SolarCity
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certified partner.

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