Tesla, SolarCity merger approved with 85% shareholder support

Dive Brief:

  • Shareholders approved Tesla Motors' $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity in a special meeting Nov. 17 in California. 
  • While final results will be posted later, the company said the merger won support of more than 85% of unaffiliated shareholders. Most votes were submitted to the company before the meeting today, a spokesperson said.
  • The approval means Tesla can move forward with an integrated solar roof and residential battery system it announced in October and said was contingent on the deal's approval. 

Dive Insight:

Less than a month after the companies released their integrated solar roof and battery offering, the new Tesla is now positioned to offer residential customers and utilities a wide array of offerings such as energy storage and distributed energy resource aggregation

​Tesla officials said earlier this month that the merger would add to the company's value sheet as soon as this quarter, and emphasized the deal would insulate the solar business from big changes in net metering or other state solar policies, which continue to pose a threat to its value proposition. 

The combined company plans to target both residential and utility-scale applications. When he announced the deal in June, Musk described a seamless customer experience for purchasing Tesla products. 

"You’d walk into the Tesla store and say: ‘I’d like a great solar solution with a battery and an electric car.’ And in 5 minutes you’re done. It’s completely painless, seamless, easy and that’s what the customer wants.”

While both companies are producing disruptive technologies for the grid, they have also tried in recent times to collaborate utilities and offer them products and services as well. In September Tesla inked a deal with Southern California Edison for an 80 MWh battery storage project. 

But Tesla isn't without its competitors, even in the solar roof business. Other companies like SunTegra and Solarmass have integrated products as well, and there is also a sizable list of failures, such as SunEdison's Ready Solar and PV shingle offerings from Dow Chemical.

Speaking after the vote, Musk said that after conversations with SolarCity engineers, "it’s looking quite promising that the solar roof will cost less than a normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account."

“I think your faith will be rewarded," he told shareholders. "I think it will be some really amazing things that come out."

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Energy Storage Distributed Energy Corporate News
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