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Elon Musk’s SolarCity Will Build ‘Solar Roofs’

Aug 12, 2016 05:47 AM EDT
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Elon Musk's SolarCity will be developing a new approach to solar energy: solar-charged roofs.

During SolarCity's quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, chairman Elon Musk unveiled his plan to develop solar roofs in the company's manufacturing plant in Buffalo, New York.

Instead of installing expensive solar panels and reconstructing roofs separately, the solar roofs are already capable of generating solar power.

"It's not a thing on the roof. It is the roof," Musk said during the announcement, as reported by Mashable. "I think people are going to be really excited about what they see."

The solar roofs are aimed at an untapped market: people who plan to replace their old roof shingles and think that it is impractical to install solar panels as they have to take them down after a few years.

"If your roof is nearing the end of its life ... why not have a solar roof that's better in many other ways as well?" Musk said.

The Tesla Motors CEO is also the chairman and top shareholder of the California-based energy-focused SolarCity. Musk also recently announced the proposed merging of the electric-car company and SolarCity to create "the world's only vertically integrated sustainable energy company," Wired UK reports.

The company did not provide further details about the solar roofs, its customizability or how it will function. According to Lyndon Rive, SolarCity CEO and co-founder, the solar roofs and another upcoming product are expected to "meaningfully increase" the company's sales for the next year, Mashable reports.

The announcement of the new development also came with the news of the company's second-quarter loss. SolarCity reported a net loss of $55.5 million, but sales were said to rise to $185.8 million from $102.8 million during the same period.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said is a report that by 2030 13 percent of electricity generated all over the world will be through solar power.  Although solar roofs represent only a small part of the overall solar market, the solar roof business is expected to expand as renewable energy technologies become more affordable.

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