Solar news: Tesla starts pre-order for its solar roof, Minnesota announces record solar growth

tesla solar roof and car

It was an eventful week in the solar industry with Tesla releasing hotly anticipated pricing information for its new solar roof product. A number of major clean energy initiatives in Virginia, strong solar growth announced in Minnesota and the release of Tesla’s solar roof pricing are the headlines from this week’s Solar News Report.

Tesla Starts Pre-Orders for Solar Roof, Releases Pricing Information

The industry was abuzz this week following the launch of a calculator on Tesla’s website that offers customized estimates for their solar roof product. The calculator draws from Google Project Sunroof’s rooftop database to determine a rough estimate for how much the solar roof would cost you, and how much energy it will provide over a 30-year time period. Tesla stated in a blog post that the roof will be priced at $21.85 per square foot. On Wednesday, the company began taking orders for the roof with installations slated to begin as soon as June (starting in California). Some estimates suggest that nationwide installations of the roof product will not occur until mid-2018. Tesla announced that the solar roof will be installed by the workforce of SolarCity, Tesla’s newest asset following a merger in late 2016.

Gov. McAuliffe Launches More Clean Energy Initiatives for Virginia

This past week, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe held a signing event for 11 new bi-partisan bills that aim to boost clean energy in the Commonwealth. Here are some of the primary focal points of this overarching legislative effort to reduce energy consumption in the Old Dominion State:

  • Offer more incentives for energy efficient homes
  • Improve Virginia’s community solar options
  • Provide ample incentives for solar-plus-storage
  • Transition to energy performance contracting

“It is clear that Virginia is moving in the right direction, especially with the recent announcement of record growth in our solar industry, but there is still work to do,” said McAuliffe. “Together, with our partners in the general assembly and the private sector, I will continue to implement policies that bolster the entire clean energy industry in the commonwealth.” Solar prices have declined in Virginia by over 64% over the past 5 years due to a number of great state incentives and rebates.

Minnesota Announces Unprecedented State Solar Growth

This past week, Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman told the public that the state is close to surpassing installation totals from 2016 at only 4 and a half months into 2017, illustrating impressive growth in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. “Minnesota is enjoying dramatic solar growth from residential, commercial, community solar and utility-scale projects,” said Rothman. “This solar growth is being driven by both innovative public policies and market forces, as solar becomes more and more cost competitive. What used to be called alternative energy isn’t alternative anymore. It’s mainstream.” In 2016, solar jobs in Minnesota increased by 44% with now almost 4,000 state residents employed by the solar industry. Prices have decline by more than 60% in the state and installation totals have risen from 1 megawatt (MW) in 2009 to 447 MW as of March of this year.