SolarCity CEO Comments On Solar Giga Factory In New York – Video

JUN 24 2014 BY MARK KANE 26

Silevo’s Triex cell

Silevo’s Triex cell

Bloomberg Television recently released an interesting interview with SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive on the acquisition of Silevo and plans to build a solar gigafactory in New York.

Bloomberg first asked why SolarCity will produce solar photovoltaic panels in China, but this is of course not the case. Although Silevo has a small manufacturing facility in China, the essence of the matter is to build a new factory in New York, with capacity of more than 1 GW, which is tens of times greater than Silevo’s facility in China and would become one of the largest in the world. This will be the first step for SolarCity prior to something even bigger.

SolarCity’s plan is to have a highly automated factory (so don’t expect a “jobs gigafactory“), which will produce high efficiency photovoltaic modules at prices below standard efficiency modules and ultimately to have lowest cost of installed kW in the world.

“June 17 (Bloomberg) — SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive comments on the company’s acquisition’s of Silevo, a producer of photovoltaic panels, his relationship with billionaire Elon Musk, the company’s chairman and biggest shareholder, and the future of solar energy. He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)”

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26 Comments on "SolarCity CEO Comments On Solar Giga Factory In New York – Video"

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sven

New and expanding businesses in NY State can now “operate 100% tax-free for 10 years. No income tax, business, corporate, state or local taxes, sales and property taxes, or franchise fees.”

http://startup.ny.gov/

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Kind of exactly what Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Schenectady/Albany/Troy all really need. Maybe central Long Island as well, to hire up Grumman folks that haven’t ‘retired’.

Spec9

Indeed. Much of upstate New York is a post-industrial wasteland. They really need some new industry and I’m glad to see them get this factory.

Brian

Hey, careful there. Upstate NY’s economy may be in the dumps, but this is hardly a wasteland 😉 (Ok, except maybe that Syracuse’s lake is the most polluted in the country…)

TomArt

[quote]
New and expanding businesses in NY State can now “operate 100% tax-free for 10 years. No income tax, business, corporate, state or local taxes, sales and property taxes, or franchise fees.”
[end quote]

All right! What a great country we live in! Whores for paychecks!! How’s that “freedom” thing working out for ya?

ThombDBomb

Any guesses as to how much of a price reduction we would see in solar photovoltaic panels? Should I wait to install residential solar photovoltaic ssytem?

ThombDBomb
Anon

No, do it now if you can afford it. The future is always better in terms of technology and price, so you’d conceivably be waiting forever…

Brian

I agree with Anon. Prices are already lower than utilities in most places – might as well start saving today!

One thing you could do if you cannot afford to cover 100% of your usage today is to install what you can with an eye to expand in the future.

ThombDBomb

I can afford leasing, where it doesn’t cost me anything to reduce my bills.

Bryan Whitton

Leasing isn’t the only option. There are many solar loan options that require no down as well. The problem with leasing is that it puts another party’s stuff on your home. Should you ever want to sell your home they have to approve the new buyer. Plus the fact that with a loan you keep your investment tax credit. Lease company’s get your ITC plus a 5 year accelerated depreciation and then charge interest on top of that. With a loan you keep the tax credit and on most solar loans you get a free refinance option early on to pay down the loan with the ITC and drop your payment even more. Look into a loan, a lease isn’t your only option.

TomArt

Good points! Also, if you install what you can afford every couple of years, I think you can claim the tax credit that year for that particular addition (there may be a minimum kW in order to do that, but it is my understanding that this is, in essence, how it works).

Spec9

Instead of leasing, solicit bids from a number of installers and then take out a home equity loan to pay for it.
1) You get the 30% tax-credit.
2) You’ll just make monthly loan payments kinda like your electric bill.
3) The interest on the home-equity loan is deductible.
4) You will fully own the system so no problems if you want to sell the house.

I’m waiting until late 2015 or 2016 to install Solar PV on my house. You want to get in before the end of the 30% tax credit in January 2017. Prices will continue to come down, though I don’t know how much they’ll be coming down in the next 18-24 months.

As far as the costs go, purchase, don’t lease if you have the money.

One last thing is that many fossil fuel lobbying groups are attempting to convince state legislatures and utility commissions to do away with net metering, or charging solar customers extra. So you may want to jump on solar before those would go into effect.

GeorgeS

Yeh maybe just go off the grid.

Spec9

Don’t lease even if you don’t have the money. Take out a home equity loan to pay for the system. That way you can deduct the interest payments and own the system.

Yeah, if you can take out a HELOC. In the southwest US, many homes are still underwater (mine is still underwater!) if they bought between 2003-2006.

GeorgeS

@Thom
I agree w/ Anon install now.
However, I’d steer away from the cheap Chinese panels as they are having life problems.

The Japanese panels (Sanyo) are better but probably more money.

I’m glad I put my system in 7 years ago.

TomArt

Yeah, between the risk of net-metering being phased out or altered to the point it’s worthless, and the fact that prices probably won’t fall substantially, the sooner, the better is probably a good rule of thumb.

When I put up panels on my house, they will be SunPower X-Series panels: the most durable and efficient panels on the market (panel efficiencies over 21%, least fade in the business, very good at moderate, to low light levels, as well.

Of course, that is assuming the trees located to the South of my house aren’t so high that a consultant will tell me I won’t generate enough to make it worthwhile. That would be disappointing, and I may do it anyway because I have noticed that, particularly in summer, there is a substantial window of direct, unshaded sunlight on my roof. That has to help our environment to generate whatever power I can, right?

Spec9

I don’t think you’ll see any more huge drops in price over the next few years. Most of them already happened. There will be some improvements in cell efficiency which will incrementally improve things but I don’t see any point to waiting. In fact waiting could be bad because the 30% tax credit will expire eventually.

So I’d say install now.

ffbj

Like I tell my girlfriends. I can wait, but I can’t wait forever.

Spec9

No reason to wait. Although EVs are still pretty expensive, solar PV is pretty dirt cheap right now. If you can install yourself, it is an amazing bargain.

Spec9

I’ve largely ignored SolarCity as their only real contribution has been financial engineering to create a ‘No money down!’ scheme.

But this vertical integration is interesting. And the fact that they are creating American jobs is inspiring. I wish them great success.

ThombDBomb

The American job creartion aspect is mentioned in the post…”SolarCity’s plan is to have a highly automated factory (so don’t expect a ‘jobs gigafactory’)”

TomArt

I saw that, too – that is going to be the new norm, I think. The advances in technology have been truly awesome. I’ve been to a few high-tech science festivals and shows, and I can tell you that it will not be long before automated fabrication of complex systems becomes mainstream, even cheaper than 3rd world labor. They can 3D fabricate trinkets now, but it’s already expanding into increasingly complex parts and mechanical systems.

And, once 3D printers become common in homes, there won’t be manufacturing of anything simple and basic (combs, toothbrushes, toys, whatever). You would just buy a copy of the design (from Crest, in the case of a toothbrush, for example), download it to your computer and then upload it to your 3D printer. No stores, no inventory, no centralized manufacturing for such items.

A global labor crisis is sneaking up on us fast enough that I fully expect to witness it (I’m in my mid-30s now).

Spec9

Sure . . . it will be highly automated. But some jobs are better than no jobs.