Elon Musk touts power-generating solar roofs

Image: Solar panel on roof
SolarCity says it will start making integrated power-generating roofs next year. (Credit: SolarCity)

The bad news is that SolarCity, the power-generating company that has Elon Musk as its chairman, is losing money. The good news is that it’ll be rolling out a new product: a roof with built-in solar arrays.

“It’s not a ‘thing’ on the roof, it is the roof,” Musk said Aug. 9 during a conference call with analysts.

He said the integrated, power-generating roofing structure would be a “fundamental part of achieving a differentiated product strategy” for SolarCity.

Peter Rive, SolarCity’s chief technology officer and Musk’s cousin, said the company would ramp up production of the roofing components at its factory in Buffalo, N..Y., in the second quarter of next year.

SolarCity is counting on such innovations to boost its sales as it heads toward a $2.6 billion merger with the Tesla electric-car and battery company, which has Musk as its CEO.


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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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