Tesla-SolarCity deal will make the most of synergies, says BNEF

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Image: SolarCity.
The future for Tesla-SolarCity could lie in aggregating rooftop PV with stationary energy storage, EVs and other distributed energy resources, the head of energy storage market analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has said.

Logan Goldie-Scott offered his reaction to the proposed merger between one of the US’ leading rooftop solar companies and Elon Musk’s luxury car brand-turned energy industry disruptor.

Speaking to Energy-Storage.News at the Electrical Energy Storage trade show in Munich this week, Goldie-Scott said Elon Musk had been right to “identify product synergies between the two companies”.

“EV owners are more likely to install rooftop PV and vice versa. Furthermore, residential PV and storage may prove to be a lower-cost gateway product for wannabe customers of Tesla’s Model S and Model X," he said.

"Beyond product offerings, the future of Tesla Energy (SolarCity) may be in virtual aggregation services and management of solar, storage and EV charger fleets. In a Tesla-SolarCity home ecosystem, the company could have control over the largest demand source in the house (the EV), the largest demand response unit (the home storage system) and the only generation source (rooftop PV). However, in solar at least, full vertical integration has seldom worked out well.

“The automaker's investors are unlikely to look kindly on this acquisition offer. The company just raised US$1.4bn from an equity issuance in May to finance accelerated production of the Model 3 car. Investors will have trouble looking past the US$3.2bn in debt that Tesla moves on to its own balance sheet for a SolarCity enterprise value of US$5.8bn.Investors may also feel Tesla already has enough on its plate with the goal of completing the Gigafactory in 2017 then quickly ramping up production of the Model 3 starting in 2018.”

As reported by Energy-Storage.News at the time of Powerwall's launch, SolarCity spoke of the potential for aggretated distributed solar, storage and other clean energy technologies.

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