Power Trends: Taking on the solar tile market - SunTegra: Page 3 of 4

November 22, 2016 // By Nick Flaherty
As Tesla completes on the acquisition of SolarCity and its solar tile technology, Nick Flaherty talks to Oliver Koehler, an industry veteran with over 15 years of experience on the market and technology challenges.
and that means we can source what we need without having to manage huge capital requirements – they are essentially commodity,” he said.

The route to market is also different from the solar panel installers. “We sell mainly through homebuilders rather than the solar dealer and the roofers and builders need the whole kit and support as they are also installing windows and doors so they look to us to provide those services,” he said. “We think that’s a good model, you get the systems designed properly and you get feedback on how the systems are performing

“It’s more a question of how big the market is for tiles and that really gets down to how quickly we can get down the cost curve relative to standard panels – we see a huge amount of runway ahead of us, it’s about creating the awareness that we are here and scaling our production to bring the costs down. A solar tile system in a new construction will have the same value proposition as a standard panel within the next two to four years - you don’t need a huge amount of scale to get to those numbers as we can buy the most expensive parts on the open market,” he said “This comes from both scale and also product improvements – a tile is a building material as well so how it deals with fire, how easily it is installed and flashed in with the surrounding roofing all of that plays into reducing the cost. Our tile is also unique as it can be used with an optimiser and this really helps with managing the system design.”  

“At the system level we are 10 to 20% higher cost and in the future that will be 5 to 10%, but you also get other cost advantages – asphalt roofing in the US has to be replaced every 15 to 20 years, which means

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