Potential Buyer - Custom order

Potential Buyer - Custom order


I am looking to buy Tesla's smaller solar panel option of 4.08Kw for my house. Based on my past power consumption, it seems to be enough for me and Tesla did confirm that. In future, i am thinking of adding an air conditioner which will take more power so i was thinking of adding additional 1 1Kw solar panel to cover it. Tesla told me that they sell it only in 4/8/12 Kw and if i have to do 5Kw system then that will be custom one and will cost more.

Based on this answer from Tesla, my questions are

1. Is it true that i have to go for custom order or is there a way to get around it.
2. If there is a way to get around it then how?
3. If not then how can i add additional solar panel in future (Per Tesla, they will install additional 4Kw minimum system on the top my existing 4Kw system if i request additional panel)

Recently they have changed their pricing and no one is coming close to what Tesla is offering me in terms of total cost but it seems that it has few issues.

Please advise.


ArlieKay | June 24, 2020

The panels are actually Panasonic solar panels so you should be able to add an additional panel if desired. Just buy the additional panels from a solar dealer and have them install.

Jones | June 24, 2020

The solar load to the inverter and the load management system are taken into account at the time of installation. Adding panels is a non-trivial event and will likely cause a cascade of problems like replacing the inverter, adjustments to the solar wiring and so on. One of the biggest costs of the system is labor - you will pay twice.
If you have the resources, build the system you want at the outset.
And last - going to a second provider will kill your warranty from Tesla as the system is modified. | June 24, 2020

Consider that while in the summer you will be generating peak power, in the winter it could easily be half that power, or less if every day is cloudy/rainy/snowy. Depending on your area, your utility may also take excess power and pay you for it. In my area, I'm getting about $150/month from the utility in the summer. My system is about 11 kW. The solar roof we have is more custom than the panel systems and I have an EV and AC. In the winter I may use some grid power to meet all my needs.

Obviously, price is a concern, but I'd consider jumping to the 8 kW system. Do you have an EV or are you considering one? That might also tip the scales towards the 8 kW system or not too.

gregbrew | June 24, 2020

Tesla doesn't "expand" existing systems. Any additional production capacity will be treated as an entirely new system, with planning, permitting and utility approvals required. It will have its own inverters, etc, and will report through the app as a different system as well. The added costs are prohibitive to do it later, because of the additional equipment and labor.

Get as big a system as you can *now*.

My local utility balked (withheld approval) at my system that seemed too large, compared to the historical usage of my tenants that were living in my property prior to my remodeling and moving in. I had to explain to SCE that we owned two EVs and were going to install an electric hot tub as well. They simply required us to sign an affidavit guaranteeing that our production would never exceed our usage by more than 10% over the course of a year. It hasn't been a problem. In fact, our offset is about 85%, which is exactly where I want it.