Tesla's solar roof tiles affordable, under warranty forever

We kick off this week with Tesla's big announcement and news on troubled solar manufacturers.

Tesla recently began to accept orders on its innovative Solar Roof product. This week, they got them. Photovoltaic installer SolarCity (co-founded by Elon Musk and then acquired by Tesla in late 2016) will roll out the new system, available for outright purchase or through a lease, in California beginning in June and plans to expand to other parts of the United States soon thereafter. Musk's logic is that by building solar generation units that resemble a traditional roof, Tesla could overcome one stubborn hurdle in solar adoption - one of perceived poor aesthetics. Italian start-up Dyaqua, inspired to bring the historic retrofit industry into the 21st century, has ramped up manufacturing on its so-called "Invisible Solar" photovoltaic roof tiles that are indistinguishable from traditional terra cotta, wood or stone roofing.

Tesla unveiled its solar shingles in October 2016 at a press event. Some households will have limited viability in terms of solar energy production, which would make installing numerous solar tiles wasteful and unnecessarily expensive.

Pricing will vary depending on where you live (due to subsidies on offer) and the design of your house.

Tesla's Solar Roof uses two types of tiles-solar and non-solar. Late past year, Tesla acquired SolarCity, with about 85 percent of shareholders voting to go through with the deal that made them the undisputed kings of sun-to-vehicle energy.

A federal tax credit drops that amount by almost $14,000, but Tesla's Powerwall battery adds a $7,000 expense. There, they can also calculate the estimated upfront cost of a solar roof. The calculator is based on factors like roof size, the average local price of electricity, and how much sunlight a neighborhood receives throughout the year.

After a few months of false starts, the concept is ready to go live, and TSLA announced that it is finally taking preorders for these solar tiles. These newfangled MIT-designed panels reflect back an image of the roof below while still letting light through to the photovoltaic cells within.

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