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The Future Is Here! Tesla's Solar Roof Tiles

The Future Is Here! Tesla's Solar Roof Tiles

They are virtually indistinguishable from a normal roof.

Tesla has four different designs for the roof tiles, which the company calls Solar Roof tiles, though only two are available for order at present. Solar analyst Hugh Bromley was quoted saying the price was "better than everyone expected".

While the Solar Roof system still costs about a third more than a traditional photovoltaic rooftop set-up, its visual appeal could make the transition much more palatable to many potential rooftop solar wannabes.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) had estimated the price of the active solar tiles to reach about US$68 per sq foot, but the cost is significantly lower at US$42 per sq ft. And that only assumes covering 40 percent of the roof.

A federal tax credit drops that amount by almost $14,000, but Tesla's Powerwall battery adds a $7,000 expense.

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. With 60 percent solar coverage on the roof, the system would generate $38,100 of energy over 30 years, according to the estimate, leaving the homeowner with a net cost of $1,400.

Anyone who has had to replace a roof can attest that it is no small expense. To date, other companies have had little market success with attempts to incorporate solar technology directly into roof tiles. The tiles gather and store the energy from light for you to use in your home or electric vehicle.

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Tesla claim that the tile does not it loses much of its effectiveness when heated, can withstand a five-centimeter hailstones fall at speeds up to 160 kilometers per hour. "These are really the three legs of the stool for a sustainable energy future", Musk said.

"Solar power going to a stationary battery pack so you have power at night, and then charging an electric vehicle ... you can scale that to all the world's demand", he said.

"SolarCity is now a Tesla Company".

Tesla reports that the Solar Roof ultimately pays for itself by reducing or eliminating a home's electricity bill.

Tesla, of course, acquired SolarCity in a deal worth $2.1 billion in November 2016, shortly after it revealed the solar shingles.

If aesthetics is the reason you've been holding off on converting your home to solar power, 2017 just might be the year for you to take the renewables leap. Initial installations will begin in California this June.

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