Tesla’s solar department often made headlines in 2019, as it was involved in a number of product and program launches, as well as a large-scale solar scandal. In one of the biggest shocks of the year, Tesla’s solar module business started to reappear. Although he was once a solar giant, Tesla had fallen into the ranks of renewable energy technologies. In fact, a lot happened for Tesla last year, so let’s break it down.
Tesla Solar Rental Program Begins
Just days after Tesla announced its solar rental program, Walmart announced that Tesla had been sued for solar panels that had caused fires on the roofs of several of its stores.
Walmart said that the “careless installation and maintenance of Tesla” caused fires in seven stores in 2012. The department store giant also wanted Tesla to remove all Tesla signs that were in 240 of its other stores. However, Walmart dropped the lawsuit in November. According to Tesla’s Elon Musk, the CEO and the CEO of Walmart found a solution soon after filing the complaint. The details of this “resolution” have not been made public.
It was great for Tesla, as the company had observed a continuous downward trend in solar deployment. Fighting a multi-million dollar lawsuit could have been the breaking point for Tesla Solar.
Tesla Commercial Solar Program for $1.01 / watt
In September, Tesla then presented its new commercial solar program. This program is structured similarly to the solar rental program for residential buildings. Commercial locations can choose from three different size systems to install on their property. The owner does not have to pay for the system or installation and can remove the Tesla solar modules at any time.
Instead of paying monthly rent, customers would buy the electricity produced by their solar system at prices ranging from $0.129 / kilowatt-hour (kWh) to $0.099 / kWh, depending on the size of the system.