SolarCity Chairman and Tesla CEO Elon Musk had announced plans to make a new “Solar Roof” product. Since then, there has been a lot of rumors about that product, with some saying it will be “solar shingles,” which many have tried and failed to deliver successfully, while others expect it to be a more innovative product. Now Electrek claims the new product could be something similar to Forward Labs’ Solar Roofing.
Not a solar shingle
Electrek reported about a new product called “Solar Roofing” by Forward Labs last month, suggesting that the product could give an idea of what Tesla and SolarCity’s “Solar Roof” could be. The product revealed last month by Forward Labs through a Kickstarter campaign is of interest to the solar installer and its Zep Solar division, which produces the mounting equipment for SolarCity’s solar panels, because it is quite similar to the solar roof product it is working on, said Electrek, citing a source within SolarCity’s engineering group.
The source also confirmed that the product is being made in direct collaboration with Tesla. The EV firm was aiming to disclose the product by the end of October, presumably once the Tesla-SolarCity merger is completed, said Musk. However, many lawsuits from investors could delay the shareholder vote and the merger.
Forward Labs’ product is a complete roofing system made to look like current steel roofing options with different styles and colors. However, Forward Labs ended its campaign after just a few weeks. The product also got the attention of Sunpower, another solar panel manufacturer, Electrek reports.
SolarCity expands into Charleston market
In other SolarCity news, the company is planning to expand into the Charleston market, marking its first step into South Carolina. The solar installer is leasing office and warehouse space in Ladson to house its Palmetto State operations, reports The Post and Courier. The solar company has already begun hiring employees, and it could employ around 100 surveyors, installers, and other workers.
Lee Keshishian, East Coast regional vice president, said the solar company will look to expand to other parts of the state “if things go well.” The growth in the market clearly makes it attractive for solar panel companies, he said.
On Tuesday, SolarCity shares closed down 1.79% at $19.79. Year to date, the stock is down more than 61%, while in the last year, it is down more than 57%.