The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Elon Musk and SolarCity Executives Announce Plan For World's Largest Solar Panel Production Plant
Elon Musk's alternate-energy aspirations don't end with Tesla's electric vehicles.
Musk is also chairman of SolarCity, a firm responsible for three times the solar panel installations as its closest competitor. Along with executives Peter Rive and Lyndon Rive, Musk announced this week that the company will create a solar plant that would be the equivalent of Tesla's "gigafactory" plan announced earlier this year.
"We are in discussions with the state of New York to build the initial manufacturing plant, continuing a relationship developed by the Silevo team. At a targeted capacity greater than 1 GW within the next two years, it will be one of the single largest solar panel production plants in the world," the trio wrote in a company blog post.
"This will be followed in subsequent years by one or more significantly larger plants at an order of magnitude greater annual production capacity."
SolarCity's plan was spurred by the recent acquisition of Silveo, which immediately transformed the company from a panel installer to a panel maker. The purchase could be worth up to $350 million in stock, according to Forbes. The acquisition pushed SolarCity's stock up by 17.5 percent Tuesday.
"What we are trying to address is not the lay of the land today, where there are indeed too many suppliers, most of whom are producing relatively low photonic efficiency solar cells at uncompelling costs, but how we see the future developing," the executives wrote.
"Without decisive action to lay the groundwork today, the massive volume of affordable, high efficiency panels needed for unsubsidized solar power to outcompete fossil fuel grid power simply will not be there when it is needed."
SolarCity has not revealed where the production plant will be located. Earlier this year, the firm announced a partnership with Best Buy to sell installation packages in 60 stores.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Brian Barth
Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC
The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.
By Alison Cagle
Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.
Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.
By Nanticha Ocharoenchai
In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.