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A record-breaking quarter for Tesla energy storage and an improvement in solar


From pv magazine US

Building on a successful and uncharacteristically transparent third quarter, Tesla has reported even greater installation figures across solar and storage.

The company installed 530 MWh of energy storage in Q4 2019, beating out last quarter’s record mark of 477 MWh by 11% and delivering on Q3’s expectation that that record would be short-lived.

Tesla also installed 54 MW of solar in Q4, up 26% from Q3’s 43 MW and the highest mark since Q4 of 2018, when 73 MW were installed. Year-over-year, storage installations are up 126%, while overall solar installations are down 26%. To add further perspective, the company deployed 93 MW of solar in Q3 2018, so while the rebound is speeding up, the company has not quite caught up to where it was.

The early portion of the call was dominated by Elon Musk’s admiration for the Tesla Cybertruck, saying that, in regards to demand for the vehicle, “We’ve never seen anything like it.”

Musk also shared that the company is seeing “exponential demand” in regards to how the California home solar mandate is affecting solar roof sales prospects, though he did follow that up by saying that it’s difficult to estimate figures.

“It’s the future we want”

The company also shared that it’s hiring at the Buffalo Gigafactory, which produces the solar roof tiles. Outside of excitement, there was little said about the solar roof, with the report focusing on Tesla’s efforts to partner with roofing companies, allowing them to perform the installation.

Energy storage was not the only sector where Tesla broke newly-set records. The company delivered 112,000 vehicles in Q4, beating the previous record of 97,000 set in Q3 2019 by 14%. In fact, demand was so high that finished vehicle inventory levels reached just 11 days of sales at the end of Q4, meaning demand is closer to supply than it has ever been. The company also shared that it is already expanding its Shanghai Gigafactory, as Model Y demand projections continue to grow.

This expansion will have to wait at least a week, as the company has been forced to temporarily shut down the Shanghai Gigafactory due to the Corona Virus outbreak.

And thus a strong quarter for the most dramatic company in energy closes out a year of growth, one marked by growth in the three phases of solar, storage and EV in its back half. Growth in all three phases was not something the company had seen in quite some time prior to Q3 2019, let alone in consecutive quarters.

Musk made it a point to highlight his excitement:

“We’re super fired-up about where Tesla will be in the next 10 years.”

By Tim Sylvia

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