Three internal documents and seven current and former employees of Tesla suggest that the company is closing about a dozen solar facilities in nine US states.
Last week, it started cutting 9% of its workforce, and this series of closing is its latest move in the process. The residential solar business was bought by the company in a $2.6 billion deal that’s dubbed as controversial.
This business of Tesla is run by SolarCity that’s a sales and installation company founded by two cousins of Elon Musk. The latest move also includes ending a sales partnership with Home Depot Inc. Employees said that this company generated around half of SolarCity’s sales.
We continue to expect that Tesla’s solar and battery business will be the same size as automotive over the long term. – Tesla
As per a review by the source of this report, Tesla has around 60 installation facilities opened. Two sources from the company said that either 14 or 13 of these are to be closed. Tesla did not disclose any related details.
The nine states targeted for closure are California, Arizona, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Texas, New Hampshire, Maryland, and Connecticut.
Tesla is in trouble in terms of sales as well: it installed 76 MW of solar systems in the first quarter of this year, as compared to over 200 MW a quarter in 2016. By then, the company was a leader in the concerned market. Last February, it said that ascending solar deployments is coming later this year.
Expensiveness is another factor Tesla has had to face this far regarding generating solar sales. GTM Research states that winning a customer via a store like Home Depot means an expense of up to $7,000 per system, whereas the national average is $4,000 per installation.
Ending the longstanding partnership with Home Depot does not sit well with many staffers of Tesla, as last February saw the latter announcing an expansion of the agreement.