Everything you need to know about Tesla’s commercial solar program

Updated

Tesla solar panels being installed
Tesla solar panels being installed. Image source: Tesla

On September 13, 2019, Tesla announced its new commercial solar program. The program initially allowed business owners in California to install solar for as little as $1.07 per watt. Since then, Tesla has upped the cost of its commercial installations, now offering prices between $1.95 and $1.22 per watt.

Although installing solar for your business with Tesla is more expensive than it used to be, their prices are still decent. But, what do California business owners need to know about Tesla’s commercial solar program? Let’s get into it.

How much does Tesla's commercial solar cost?

Tesla is offering four commercial solar system sizes. The solar panel system size that is right for your commercial property depends on your energy needs and the size of your roof.

Tesla offers a sizing guide to help you pick which system is right for your business.

Purchase Prices for Tesla Commercial Solar
System size Price including federal tax credit Price per watt including federal tax credit Estimated value of generation per year*
40 kW $77,833 $1.94 / watt $8,060 - $9,920
80 kW $113,939 $1.42 / watt $16,120 - $19,840
120 kW $155,722 $1.30 / watt $24,180 - $29,760
240 kW $292,145 $1.22 / watt $48,360 - $59,520

*based on estimates provided by Tesla

Tesla’s prices fall in line with the average cost of commercial solar in the U.S, which is about $1.72 per watt before the federal tax credit, and $1.27 per watt after.

Those who purchase a Tesla commercial solar system are able to take advantage of local incentives that may be available for commercial installations on top of the federal tax credit.

You can also qualify for the federal modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS) incentive. MACRS allows business owners to recover investments on their solar systems through depreciation costs. This incentive has the potential to save business owners a significant amount of money.

Am I eligible for Tesla’s commercial solar program?

The commercial solar subscription program is also only available in California. You must be a customer of Pacific Gas and Electric Company or San Diego Gas and Electric in order to participate.

To qualify, you must own the building or have permission from the building owner to install solar. This program is for rooftop solar installations only, not ground-mounted systems.

It is important to note that the terms of the purchase agreement state that Tesla has the right to update the price of the system if the project requires Tesla to perform anything outside of their scope of work. Tesla can also decide that they will not build the system pending the site conditions.

Tesla’s Megapack commercial battery

Tesla’s commercial and utility-scale battery offering, Megapack, costs somewhere around $2,000,000 per unit, depending on the model. Image source: Tesla

Tesla’s Megapack fully integrated battery system allows commercial and utility-scale products to have access to stored energy. Unlike the company’s commercial solar option, the Megapack is available throughout the country, not just in California.

Tesla offers two versions of the Megapack:

  • 2-hour duration model, which holds 3,854 kWh of electricity per Megapack
  • 4-hour duration model, which holds 3,878 kWh of electricity per Megapack

Although the 2-hour Megapack holds less energy than the 4-hour model, it can release more power at once, so it can run more loads. In California, each 2-hour Megapack costs about $2,414,070, while each 4-hour model costs $1,934,720. The final price will vary by state and how many Megapack units you order.

Orders placed now for the Megapack battery will be delivered no sooner than Q4 2024.

Should your business go solar with Tesla?

All in all, if you purchase a Tesla solar panel system, you’ll be able to save quite a bit on your business’s monthly electric bills and give you a little extra cash on hand.

However, don’t jump the gun and go right with Tesla. There isn’t a ton of information out there regarding the quality of Tesla’s commercial work, but they don’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to residential solar.

Consider getting a few quotes from local, reputable commercial solar installers who might be a better fit for your business before committing to a Tesla installation.

Check out live solar prices from top-rated solar companies in your area
 - Author of Solar Reviews

Catherine Lane

SolarReviews Blog Author

Catherine is a researcher and content specialist at SolarReviews. She has strong interests in issues related to climate and sustainability which led her to pursue a degree in environmental science at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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