Tesla Deployed 92 MW New Solar Capacity In Q1/2021

Tesla Reports Its ‘Strongest’ Quarter Since Q3/2018, With 92 MW Solar Deployed In Q1/2021; Admits Installation Troubles For Solar Roofs
11:51 PM (Beijing Time) - 29. April 2021
Presentation1

Solar deployments for Tesla have grown significantly over more than last 2 years with 92 MW deployed in Q1/2021, growing from 35 MW in Q1/2020 and 86 MW in Q4/2020. (Source: Tesla, Inc.)

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla’s Q1/2021 solar deployments grew 163% on annual basis to a total of 92 MW
  • Its energy storage deployments increased 71% YoY to 445 MWh in the reporting quarter
  • While demand for Solar Roof remains strong, Tesla accepted that it mis-assesses difficulty of certain roofs while factoring in Solar Roof development
  • It is continuing to push for its solar products to be bought along with Powerwall in which it sees major scope of growth in the future

Electric vehicle, solar and storage services company, Tesla, Inc. had its strongest solar quarter in the last 2.5 years with new solar deployments reaching 92 MW in Q1/2021, growing from 35 MW it installed a year back reflecting annual increase of 163%, and growing from 86 MW in Q4/2020. In Q3/2018, it had deployed 93 MW solar (see Tesla Cuts Residential Solar System Prices).

Its numbers show strength in terms of also storage deployments on annual basis as it reported 445 MWh in the reporting quarter, compared to 260 MWh in Q1/2020, going up 71% during the period, driven mainly by Powerwall sales. However, it fared better in this space in Q4/2020 when the deployments grew to 1,584 MWh.

Reflecting on the company’s Solar Roof business, Tesla boss Elon Musk admitted that while demand for Solar Roof remains strong despite the group raising prices, it is facing problems at the installation point where Tesla is ‘choked’.

Speaking to analysts, Musk explained, “We did find that we basically made some significant mistakes in assessment of difficulty of certain roofs, but the complexity of roofs varies dramatically. Some roofs are literally two times or three times easier than other roofs. So, you just can’t have a one size fits all situation.”

Further he added that if a roof has a lot of protuberances or if the roof sort of the core structure of the roof is rotted out or is not strong enough to hold the Solar Roof then the cost doubles up immensely, and in such situations the company has to refund customers.

Tesla is now pushing to sell its solar products along with its home energy storage system Powerwall with a view for this combined system to act as a home’s own utility, ensuring energy security for the home.

It is trying to position Powerwall as something that can act as a ‘giant distributed utility’. “And we are going to see more and more of what we see in California and Texas of people seeing brown-outs and black-outs, and the utilities not being able to respond, because there’s a massive change going on with the transition to electric transport and we are seeing more extreme weather events,” added Musk. “This is a recipe for disaster. So it is very important to have solar and batteries at the local level at the house.”

Overall, Tesla’s revenue grew 74% annually in Q1/2021 to $10.39 billion, with a gross profit of $2.2 billion and GAAP net income of $438 million.

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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Anu Bhambhani