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First look at Tesla’s biggest solar roof installation yet – it’s massive

Tesla has installed the biggest solar roof installation we have seen yet and it’s massive. Interestingly, the solar installation is located in Florida as Tesla managed to Hurricane-proof the system.

Last month, we reported on Tesla claiming that it achieved solar roof production of 1,000 per week.

They made that claim based on achieving the production of 4 MW of solar roof tiles in a week.

We suggested that it was a stretch since it would put the average Tesla solar roof system at 4 kW, which we think is extremely low.

This new system that was activated last week in Orlando, Florida confirms our suspicion since we are talking about an 18 kW system.

It’s the biggest system we have seen yet, but do let us know if you know of a bigger Tesla Solar Roof.

The new solar roof was installed on Devaloy and Darylaine’s roof, who you could argue are the perfect Tesla customers.
They have invested in Tesla since 2012. Devaloy, a computer engineer, has a 2013 Model S and Darylaine, an attorney, has a 2016 Model X. They also plan to buy their son a Model 3 for his high-school graduation.

So all the family’s travels are in Tesla electric vehicles, but it is powered by Florida’s electric grid, which gets most of its energy from coal and natural gas.

When Tesla announced the solar roof, they quickly decided to reserve it and once Tesla launched Version 3 last year, they started to move forward with the project.

Here Devaloy shared with Electrek a complete timeline of the project:

  1. We were early adopters of the Solar Roof; reserved “Smooth” tile roof on May 2017.
  2. On Nov 13 2019 we were offered the opportunity to start the project, if we switched to “Textured” tiles; we did.  We sent Power bill to Tesla (with daily average consumption of 96 kWh).
  3. On Nov 18 Tesla informed us they had finished their proposal, which they presented the next day through an online meeting.
  4. On Nov 19 we sent a form to the Architectural Review Board (ARB) of our homeowner’s association, asking for project approval.
  5. On Nov 26 Tesla informed us our Power company (Duke Energy) required us to get additional insurance ($1M liability) due to the system being > 10kW.  We got it for an additional $180.
  6. On Nov 26 our homeowner’s association approved the project .
  7. On Nov 29 we were asked to complete an online survey covering existing electrical and A/C systems.
  8. On Dec 04 Tesla performed the on-site survey.
  9. On Feb 12 the state of Florida approved (one time event) the Solar Glass Tiles for installation, so permitting started (probably continued).
  10. On Feb 19 we scheduled the start of the installation.
  11. On March 2 installation started:
    1.   First 2 days were old roof tear-down; a mobile dumpster was parked on the driveway.
    2.   Variable number crews worked Mon-Sat for two weeks
  12. Smaller Tesla crew worked 3 more days to finish final details; to complete the total of 15 days
  13. Final county inspection performed on March 24; waiting for net-metering meter from Power company before officially commissioning the system

Therefore, it took 15 days for Tesla to complete the installation, which is longer than what the company is aiming for despite the size of the system. A mitigating factor though is Tesla was attempting to make sure the roof was hurricane-proof since it is in Florida.

Here’s the result:

As you can see, they also have 4 Powerwalls for 54 kWh of energy storage, which should enable them to use their solar power at night.

They also have a backup gateway to use the Powerwalls for backup power and 3 inverters.

Devaloy explains the need for several inverters:

“The key point in having multiple inverters is this: During a daytime power outage excess solar energy (after powering home and with full Powerwalls) cannot be bled into the grid; so, one or more of the inverters need to be shutdown. By having multiple inverters they can be shutdown independently until Powerwall energy starts being used again. Once Powerwalls reach a certain threshold, shutdown inverters can come back online to re-charge Powerwalls. This scheme continues during the whole daylight power outage.”

The new Tesla Solar Roof owner also shared the first picture we have seen of Tesla’s Solar Gateway:

We have recently learned more about the gateway in Tesla’s Solar Roof Owners manual, which you can access here.

As for the cost, Devaloy told Electrek that it added up to $100,000 before incentives.

It sounds high, but you need to keep in mind that it’s a 3,400 square foot roof with an 18 kW solar power system and 4 Powerwalls.

When breaking down the cost of the actual solar roof, it was $23,830.78 for the normal tiles and $47,723.21 for the solar roof tiles for a total of $71,553.99 – before incentives, which can reduce the cost by 26%.

It comes down to $7 per sqft and $2.65 per watt (before incentives).

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

Tesla Solar and energy storage products might be a great solution for your home or business and you can use our code (frederic5610) for a $250 award for a solar panel installation. However, we suggest getting quotes from more than one installer to make sure you get the best energy solution for your place. UnderstandSolar is a great free service to link you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates for free.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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