by Nicolas Rinaldi
May 12, 2017

We kick off this week with Tesla's big announcement and news on troubled solar manufacturers.

Need a roof? I got a guy.

Analysts and energy fans have been waiting eight months for more details to emerge on Tesla's Solar Roof. This week, they got them. The company launched a website that allows homeowners to estimate costs and reserve roofs. Tesla estimates the price will be roughly $21.85 per square foot for an average American home. Initial installations will begin in California this June. Stephen Lacey joined a call with Elon Musk to get details on pricing, features, rollout strategy, and the product's "infinite warranty." (story)

Behold the durability of the Tesla tile. I'm no scientist, but shouldn't it be positioned vertically like its competitors?

So should we be excited about the Solar Roof? The Energy Gang goes beyond the hype on this week's podcast. (story)

As the world turns

One of the world's most well-known crystalline-silicon solar manufacturers filed for insolvency in Germany this week. SolarWorld AG said that ongoing price erosion in the global market has left it poorly positioned to compete and over-indebted. You'll remember it was SolarWorld AG's U.S. subsidiary that initiated the industry's first trade war with China in 2011. It's unclear what will happen to the company's U.S. operations in Oregon. (story)

That wasn't the only bad news this week. Eric Wesoff learned from sources that tenKsolar, a Minnesota-based manufacturer of integrated high-efficiency panels, is winding down operations. Catastrophic equipment failures in the field did the firm in. (story)

Eric Wesoff also digs into the troubled financials of microinverter pioneer Enphase from the company's latest earnings call and then juxtaposes those financials with the recent performance of Enphase's primary competitor, SolarEdge. The takeaway: Enphase won't last for long on its current margins. (story)

GTM Statcast

For your consideration: the best energy stats from the week of May 8, 2017.

$100 Million
The price that smart metering leader Itron paid to acquire demand response provider Comverge this week. The acquisition puts Itron into a totally new grid edge business. (story)

2 FERC Vacancies
One a quorum does not make, therefore President Trump has nominated two FERC appointees this week to fill the commission's vacant seats. Jeff St. John looks at their qualifications. (story)

Growing Pains
Eric Wesoff looks over some recent analysis from GTM Research to understand why it's been such a tough year for residential solar installers in the U.S. (story)

$500 Million
The amount that Sunlight Financial secured from Technology Credit Union for solar loans. It translates to about 20,000 new rooftop projects. (story)

August 21, 2017
The date of the next total solar eclipse over the U.S., the first in 26 years. This week, Julia Pyper looks at how California's grid operator is planning to deal with the 6,000-megawatt solar capacity shortfall that will occur as a result. (story)

2 Gigawatts
The capacity of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York, which the state plans to shut down by 2021. What will replace the plant's baseload capacity on the grid? Julian Spector presents some of the frontrunners this week. (story)

29 Million Customers
The number of customers that electric utility TEPCO serves in Japan. This week, Julian Spector examines TEPCO's recent grid edge investment strategy. (story)

269 Megatonnes
The amount of hard coal European countries consumed in 2015, 47 percent less than in 1990. As coal reaches the end of its shelf life in the European market, what is replacing it? (story)

1 USD = 109.961 DZD
The exchange rate of U.S. dollars to Algerian dollars as of publication. This week, we look at new analysis from GTM Research that considers the role of currency depreciation as a hidden threat to global projects, using an upcoming 4-gigawatt tender in Algeria as an example of that risk. (story)

23 Batteries
A feel-good follow-up to a story we reported on last month -- Australian zinc-bromide residential battery supplier Redflow has resumed production after it was suspended due to 23 battery failures in the field earlier this year. (story)

$2 Billion
The amount that German auto manufacturer Volkswagen agreed to invest in EV infrastructure in the U.S. as part of its Dieselgate settlement. However, the plan is already under threat by the state of California, which has concerns over competition and equity. (story)

400 Megawatts of Demand Response
The capacity that National Grid has hired AutoGrid to organize and manage using its “flexibility management” software across New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in lieu of traditional grid investment. (story)

The "Un-Utility"
The term Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power, uses to describe her company. Stephen Lacey sat down with Powell this week to talk about the efforts she's making to change the culture at Green Mountain Power. (story)