Energy Products

New Install (7.4kW Solar+Power Walls) in San Jose can't pass inspections *UPDATE* FINALLY GOT THE PT

Well, I decided to take the plunge and get the solar + Power Wall system from Tesla as I believe in the company and mission even though the Solar Panel System output was quoted at a higher price than a local Solar company. I'm just sharing my experience so far. Everything was going smoothly but there have been a few rough bumps and delays.

Here's my timeline:

12/7/2018 Had the in person consultation with a Tesla Energy Rep. The design and planning took a few weeks. I decided to get a 7.475 kW system with 2 Power Walls.

2/6/2019 Signed all the paperwork for the system.

3/20/19 Installation of the Solar Panels and Power Walls (PWs): Even though it was a rainy day, the installers came and installed the solar panels. They worked diligently from 8AM to 4PM and turned off the power for 2 hours. The Solar City installer guys were courtesy and explained everything as they were installing panels. They installed a new breaker box, inverter, and the gateway. Unfortunately the inspector for the PW mounting brackets couldn't come out that day so they couldn't mount the PWs. So they install crew finished up and I had to reschedule another day for the inspector to come out.

4/4/19 The inspection for the PW mounting bracket passed. Took about 2 hours as the Tesla representative had to look over the system.

4/8/19 The PWs were finally mounted installed and tested. This took about 4 hours and they required turning off the power for an hour or so as there were issues connecting the gateway to my router. When the power was reset my router didn't boot up correctly so I just power cycled it.

4/13/19 The city inspection for the system was scheduled on at 8am on Saturday. The Tesla representative came out about 30 minutes prior to the inspector to make sure everything was working. Unfortunately the system did not pass inspection. I was not there for the inspector as I was nervous and the Tesla representative said that the wiring did not pass the inspection. The rep commented on how the city inspector had the plans for the system and even gave its approval but I guess when the inspection occurred they changed their minds. I was disappointed as I had heard it would take another 5-6 weeks for PG&E to come out to inspect the system after the City Inspection approval.

And that's where I am at currently. The installers are coming back on 5/2/2019 to bring it up to the City inspector's specifications.
Hopefully it should be smooth sailing. I'm hoping to have the system up and running by June if possible as I want to install an HVAC soon as it's been 90F the last few days.

07/15/19 Finally got the PTO to run the system. Haven't even peeled the plastic off the Power Walls yet but the solar and PWs are up and running.

07/17/19 The 7.4kW system maxes out around 5.6 kW.
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Comments

  • edited May 2019
    Sigh, it FAILED inspection again.

    5/16/19 The city inspector came out today with the Tesla engineer. They basically told me that the breakers were not installed properly and up to code so it failed inspection. I'm losing confidence in this system.
  • edited May 2019
    I’m sorry to hear about the troubles. Any recourse? Have you called Tesla to complain or work something out in compensation?
  • edited November -1
    Is there anyone else to contact?

    I spoke with the Tesla Engineer who was assigned to my project and I have written to my Energy Advisor and [email protected] .
  • edited May 2019
    hmm...
    … All I want to say is that
    They don't really care about us
    All I want to say is that
    They don't really care about us…
  • edited May 2019
    I live nearby in Santa Clara and waited a year, January 2018 to March 2019, for my 2 PWs to be installed.
    My installation also failed the first inspection, but the Tesla representative, who was present, showed me the notes of what the inspector wanted corrected.
    Tesla made the corrections in mid-April and the 2nd inspection was last week, which passed.

    Did your Tesla Inspections Coordinator inform you of what the first city inspector wanted corrected?
  • edited May 2019
    They never showed me any notes. I actually requested the report but the Tesla representative hasn't sent me one yet.
  • edited May 2019
    After our first inspection fail, I didn’t actually ask to see the notes, the Tesla representative showed them to me and explained the issue, then said that scheduling would contact me to set up a date for a crew to come back and do the corrections.
    I probably should’ve taken a photo of the notes, but it slipped my mind until after he had left.

    It may not help pass your next inspection, but when the repair crew come out, I’d suggest asking them to explain what corrections they’ll be doing and maybe taking a photo of their notes.
    That way you’ll at least know what the next inspection will be focused on.

    Note, the Tesla representative for my second inspection said that even though they implemented the corrections, it was possible that the next inspector may flag something the previous inspector missed or considered minor, but still wanted corrected.
    Obviously, that did not happen, but I thought I’d mention it.

    My solar system is only 3kW and has yet to charge our 2 PWs above 80%, even on the sunniest days.
    Still, so far in May, we’re averaging a bit over 70% self powered per day.

    Good luck.
  • edited May 2019
    I went through a similar situation. No wiring problems but Breakers have to be anchored in Chula Vista installers were not aware of that.. But the system didn't pass inspection for a couple other reasons. Wrong breaker on the service side... Labels not where they needed to be. The Tesla guys came right back out and had everything up to code the next day. City inspector came back out (40 year vet with the city) and he was happy. I have the exact same system as you. And yes SDG&E took their time to milk out two more months of bills before they "Allowed" me to turn the system on. The Solar City guys were Awesome. Also the Tesla Electricians were extremely helpful informative and courteous. Long story short we had some hiccups but I am super happy with the outcome.
  • edited November -1
    Wow thats really bogus. I just had my house assessed for solar & powerwall last week. Waiting for the design report, and i'll probably need to give them a second utility bill at the end of this month. Apparently they do Roof replacement as well, which is what i need. Thinking of doing the roof, solar & PW2 installation all at the same time. Lots of state & federal credits available.
  • edited November -1
    Oh man, so I finally got my inspection passed on May 31st. It's been over 3 weeks since it passed and I just learned that they haven't even submitted my paper work to PG&E so I can turn on the the system. Which will be another 5-6 weeks.

    I'm beyond frustrated with this service.
  • edited November -1
    I've had a coworker get solar through another company and they were down in 2-3 weeks since signing. They are already using their solar system.
  • edited November -1
    So I was supposed to get an update today as promised by the Tesla Rep in an email. Why do I even bother? Time to call them again tomorrow.
  • edited June 2019
    Looks like I just got an update. They haven't submitted my PG&E permit but they will soon.
  • Q QQ Q
    edited November -1
    Thanks to you, @clos000, I requested my 8-page set of plans. They sent me a 24-page doc that I am still reviewing. Appreciate the tip and I hope your system gets going soon.
  • edited November -1
    Wow, reading about this debacle really upsets me. I had two PW2's installed one year ago, and they passed inspection immediately on the last day of installation and were turned on and running right away. I live in Edmonds, WA, and our PW2 installer (A&R Solar) also did my solar installation (13.2 kWh) in 2012. They were incredibly competent and knew how to do the installation without complications. I really hate to read stories described by the OP, as they are not my experience. It really does matter who does the installation.
  • edited November -1
    So after 3 weeks, 4 phone calls, and 3 emails, I get a text message from TESLA today that my PG&E permits were finally submitted.

    It almost felt like I had to pull teeth to get things going. The person who was supposed to submit my permit was on vacation or training for the past few weeks so they couldn't get to my paperwork. This is beyond frustrating. It's like I'm chasing people at Tesla to do their job.
  • edited November -1
    I was also told the person submitting my paperwork was also spoken to by their supervisor to get this stuff done... I was even offered the supervisor's email to help push things along...
  • edited July 2019
    Now the wait begins for the PTO.
  • edited November -1
    What's worse is that the first payment for the Solar panels is due next week and I can't even use the system.
  • when I had my system installed - it is a lease - the clock on making payments didnt start until the day the system was turned on. I was dealing with Solar City, but I am surprised that Tesla would have payments start on a system before it is actually up and running
  • edited July 2019
    Yea, they changed the terms of the first payment. It doesn't start for a few months after installation or ~15 days after the system is turned on whichever comes first.

    So in my case the system was installed in March wasn't finished installing until April and now I can't even turn on the system and the bill is due July.
  • edited July 2019
    I paid for the entire system at one time roughly 36-38 thousand dollars, was told it would be a 3 month install from start to finish, and this is where it all went wrong. they did not submit paperwork for at least two more months, then came to find out the main breaker box had to be updated for 100 amp panel to a 200 amp panel, contacted the individual at the power company got the ok from them to begin, advised solar group and gave them phone numbers for paper work, then they lost the paper work for the install of theelectrical panel upgrade, had to start all over again, this time I left a complete paper trail and they still got lost or they wanted to wait, t which point I contacted there main office to take care of there lack of service and commitment to get the job done, then they had to come out twice for the full install including batteries but the install tech decided on his own not to keep the electrical conduit under the eave of the house, so I made them come back out and move it to where it belonged, got inspected by the county and the fire marshall passed after affixing all stickers to panels and conduits, inverter was powered up but powerwall never came online, because their contractor did not mount the gateway inside of the garage where it was supposed to be mounted, so they had to come back out and run a hard line to me cable router before tesla could bring the powerwalls online then they could charge up, start to finish to about 9 months system was supposed to out out 3,6 kwh, it never went above 3.0 so I paid for 3 more panels to be installed and am at 3.8 kwh. so far the system is now functioning as was guaranteed but I will see as time goes on, I will still see a power bill for connectivity every month at 16.00 for some reason, im on a net metering system with three net meters....
  • edited November -1
    You and e e cummings.
  • edited July 2019
    heh heh I see what you did there
  • edited July 2019
    @PPolk,
    Windjammer Terra Nova here, condo, so we have lagged back in pursuing solar or Powerwalls. Where are you in CV?
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