In New York City’s Times Square, Musk and Solar City introduce what they claim is the world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel, achieving a peak efficiency of 22.04%, 30-40% more power than current panels. The rating is verified by the Renewable Energy Test Center. The panels are cheap enough that the company can make money off of them even if government tax break policies expire. CTO Rive:
That’s been the singular focus of the company… to continue to get the costs down. I’m really excited about this… it’s the best solar panel on the planet and it empowers us from 2017 and beyond to control our own destiny.
Musk says that third-party panel manufacturers were happy to make a standard efficiency 15% panel year-over-year.
So we thought we had to make our own panels. I like counter-intuitive moves. I thought people would think, at the time, ‘Wow, that’s stupid,’ [which made me think], ‘That’s probably a good idea.’
SolarCity incorporates the Tesla battery into its DemandLogic energy storage system to increase the utility cost savings customers can realize from using stored solar electricity. DemandLogic, which is being adopted by several of the largest retail, biotech and Internet companies in the U.S., allows businesses to reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand, and can also provide backup power during grid outages. DemandLogic’s management software automates the discharge of stored energy to optimize savings on utility demand charges for customers.
SolarCity Corp releases its earnings report for the first three months of 2014, showing better than expected returns. Although the report also shows greater losses, SolarCity shares jump 4% moments after the release, topping off at 16% as the company predicts higher demand and a rise in solar panel installations. Musk now owns $1 billion in SolarCity stock, making up for the $500 million drop in net worth from Tesla this same day.