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By Ather Fawaz
Amazon follows suit after Walmart in complaining of Tesla's fiery solar panels
by Ather Fawaz
Tesla, the American automotive and energy company, is not having the best of months. Earlier this week on Tuesday, Walmart filed a lawsuit against the company accusing it of providing faulty solar panels after some of its solar panel installations caught fire. Following suit, Amazon has also complained of fires, slamming Tesla's solar panel installations and announcing that it will not be installing Tesla systems in the future (via Bloomberg).
Amazon claimed that a Tesla solar panel system installed by SolarCity at an Amazon warehouse in Redlands, California caught fire in June 2018. On the other hand, Walmart's plight was worse and it blamed Tesla's unreliable solar panel installations after they led to fires in more than six warehouses of the multinational retail corporation.
These criticisms come hot on the heels of Tesla hoping to relaunch its solar-panel business with revised rates and new rental options. Needless to say, these grievances do not bode well for the company's aspirations to rejuvenate its deleterious business in renewable energy.
Tesla has tried to respond to the criticism. The company recently claimed that a part known as the 'connector' manufactured by Amphenol Corp. in its solar panel system has previously failed Tesla's quality standards after showcasing frequent disconnections and malfunctions. It is unclear however whether this part was the culprit behind Walmart and Amazon's fire complaints. Furthermore, Tesla and Walmart issued a joint statement on Thursday saying, "Both companies want each and every system to operate reliably, efficiently, and safely."
By Stergios Georgopoulos
Tesla relaunches its solar-panel business with new rental options
by Stergios Georgopoulos
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in a series of tweets the relaunch of its solar panel division, which now includes three new no-contract rental packages. Since acquiring SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2016, Tesla has made several strategic changes which resulted in the company losing market share. It ended the deal with Home Depot, halted door-to-door sales, and focused on direct sales in its retail stores and online instead of leasing equipment.
Hoping to revitalize its struggling solar power business, Musk announced today that the company is returning to a rental model that includes no upfront costs. There are three new system sizes that customers can choose from. The small panel array is 3.8 kW and costs $7,049, the medium is 7.6 kW and costs $14,098, and the large option includes a 11.4 kW system and has a price tag of $21,147.
Customers have the option to rent their preferred system for a monthly payment that includes installation costs as well as support and maintenance. They also have the ability to cancel the contract at any time, though they have to pay $1,500 if they want to have the system removed from their rooftop. Tesla says it makes no profit from uninstalling the panels.
For now, the rental option is available to residents in six states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. Additionally, Musk said that Tesla Solar will be available to customers in Europe some time next year.
By Jim K
...video quality is stunning.
Watch for free until Sunday night,
I haven't watched yet but looks interesting...
Tesla is helping build world's largest 'virtual power plant' in Australia
by Paul Hill
Tesla will work with the state of South Australia in order to further bolster energy security. The deal involves creating a network of 50,000 home solar systems which include Tesla Powerwall batteries; what’s being dubbed as the world’s largest ‘virtual power plant’ is expected to lower energy bills by 30%.
In the announcement, the South Australia government said:
At the moment, the government is requesting those who are interested to sign up in the trial programme, though it is limited to just over 1,000 government housing properties. The trial will be funded by a $2 million grant and a $30 million loan from the Renewable Technology Fund, covering the costs for participants who won't have to pay a penny. They will receive a 5kW solar panel system and a 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 battery.
The news comes on the back of Tesla building a huge battery farm in South Australia which can power 30,000 homes for more than one hour. Its purpose is to support the state's energy grid which gets 40% of its electricity from wind energy. The state's grid has suffered a number of blackouts and rising energy prices, so hopefully, Tesla's newly installed batteries will keep the grid stabilised in future.
Source: Our Energy Plan, Government of South Australia via Reuters