Florida homeowners anxiously await the production of the sleek new Tesla solar roof shingles
January 13, 2017
2017 is looking to be an exciting year for the solar industry in Florida. Predictions show more growth and lower prices overall. Technology, designs, and applications are evolving, thru higher power density traditional solar modules, more efficient electrical designs, and most notably with the recent announcement of the Tesla solar roofing tile, an integrated solar glass shingle, that is helping to make solar mainstream in the residential market with a focus on aesthetics and energy production.
The new solar roof shingle will be available later this year and come in four designs, giving homeowners the option to “go solar” without having to install large panels on their roofs. However, there is much uncertainty with the product at this time, and we should hear more about pricing when production begins later this year. Performance issues should also be cleared up by then since prototypes are operating two percent less efficient than the existing solar panel technology.
Tesla Solar Roof Shingles Long-Term Outlook
In the long run, we feel the success of the Tesla solar roof shingle will come down to its pricing. Based on similar shingles that were previously launched, we expect the cost of the Tesla shingle to be high and complex to install. According to Tesla, the cost of its new system will be lower than a traditional roof when combined with projected utility bill savings. Barry Cinnamon at Greentech Media ran the numbers and provided a few estimates based on the information that has been released so far. For a retrofit, this can range from $33,000 – $37,000, with a decrease in price for new production homes (est. $26,500) and new custom homes (est. $36,000). With paybacks for regular solar systems averaging 6.5 years, Tesla’s retrofit payback of 11 years will be less appealing for homeowners. Because there are far more homes than commercial businesses, it’s very unlikely homeowners will replace a proven, traditional roof system with a solar roof anytime soon. For those who want solar energy now, there’s always the option to integrate a more cost-effective traditional solar panel for energy savings. But with paybacks of 8.2 for new construction, Tesla is sure to be an attractive option in this market.
Rooftop Solar Return on Investment
With its high return on investment, large-scale commercial installations remain the most profitable solar energy solution in Florida outside of large-scale utility installations. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Major US corporations are installing solar at an astonishing rate, with commercial prices falling by an average of 16% in 2016. Advanced Roofing Inc. (ARI) is one of the nation’s largest commercial re-roofing companies and specializes in the design, procurement, and construction (EPC) of rooftop solar energy systems. Since 2007, ARI has installed over 200 megawatts of renewable energy for clients such as Lockheed Martin and the University of Miami.
Companies are choosing to go solar not only because of the environment but also for the financial returns. With rapid payback, stable internal rates of return, and a predictable cash flow stream, commercial solar projects can deliver outstanding long-term investment returns for businesses. A commercial solar project can generate incremental revenue, actually creating a new profit center. Electricity prices are highly volatile and difficult to predict. By generating clean electricity onsite, you can eliminate your businesses exposure to price volatility.
Solar Investment Tax Credit Available Until 2019
Furthermore, through the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), companies can also receive a 30 percent federal tax credit for installing solar on their property through 2019. With a 3-7 year project ROI for large scale commercial rooftop and carport installations and double-digit Internal rates of Return (IRR) over 25 years, now is the time to go solar, as we may never see incentives this aggressive again.
Whether it’ll be profitable remains to be seen, but Tesla’s foray into solar has piqued the world’s interest in rooftop solar, as homeowners anxiously await the production of these sleek new solar tiles in 2017.
Share Your Thoughts
What do you think about the new solar roofing shingle from Tesla? How do you see it being applied? Leave your comments below.