Opinion: Apple, Tesla and Why We Need to Take Solar Seriously

By Nathan Homan, Solar Novus Today

The solar industry is hot on the public’s radar thanks to recent announcements from Apple and Tesla confirming they have some major solar projects in the works. If solar wants to stay at the forefront of public consciousness, it’s crucial to understand what the major players are doing (and why) and what it means for the future of the industry.

Apple recently announced it would be spending $850 million to purchase 130 megawatts of capacity from First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project to build a massive power plant in California. The company intends to use this to power many of its stores in the state, and possibly other similar operations such as data centers or its Cupertino, California headquarters. This isn’t Apple’s first foray into solar, the company has been slowly implementing the projects needed to operate on 100% renewable energy and just recently announced they had accomplished said goal in the US and are at about 87% abroad. This deal with First Solar, however, is by far the largest and most ambitious move to date.

Tesla has also begun making waves in the solar industry with an announcement recently to partner with Solar City to put Tesla batteries to use in homes and micro grids in the coming months. This plan has the potential to open up the solar market to new types of users and expanded system sizes. This is an opportunity for Tesla to finally get in front of consumers and solar developers that it hasn’t been able to target through its vehicles.

Any time a major company like Apple or Tesla makes a move to shake up an industry, it presents the opportunity for a ripple effect of innovation within it. Solar startups specifically, have the potential to truly benefit from big companies giving investors a reason to pay attention.

Read full op-ed from Solar Novus Today

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