Tesla quietly reveals unassuming new solar panels
Useful as they are, most rooftop solar panels aren't exactly subtle. A few months ago, Tesla unveiled a solar system that was built right into the roof tiles themselves, but if you're not looking to retile your entire roof, the company is now offering an after-market solar system. The announcement was quietly made this weekend when Tesla updated its website – a fitting reveal, since the new solar panels are designed to blend into an existing roof without causing a fuss.
While the energy-capturing tiles look like a great option for people building a new house, they don't really serve people who don't want to rip up their existing roof. Those customers could shop elsewhere, of course, but Tesla's new system is designed to integrate easily into the company's home battery, the Powerwall, and be particularly modest-looking in the process.
That modesty comes by tucking away the mounting hardware out of sight, and capping it off with an integrated front skirt – techniques that were apparently brought in when Tesla acquired SolarCity late last year. The energy gathered by the panels will be stored in the Powerwall, allowing it to be tapped into whenever needed, including when the main grid is experiencing outages.
Electrek reports that the new solar panels are being manufactured by Panasonic at Tesla's Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York, as part of an agreement that was reached between the two companies back in October.
While there's no official word on when the panels will be available, production is set to begin this summer (Northern Hemisphere), and Tesla is currently taking requests for quotes on its website.