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Solar Panel Installation, started April 2020, still not done

Merle

Member
Apr 5, 2019
162
139
Tahoe
If you're going with a Tesla Solar Panel (and this isn't the roof, just a panel on top of the roof) you can expect some serious delays.

Sizing: 12.24 kW Solar, 3 Powerwalls

Let's see if this helps anyone out.

April 2020 - Initial order submitted
4/16/2020 - CPUC Solar Packet
4/16/2020 - PRM Inspection Affidavit (Carbon Monoxide)
6/22/2020 - Customer Layout
7/15/2020 - Preconstruction Proposal - Reroof
9/16/2020 - Installation attempt #1 (not happy with panel placement)
10/2/2020 - Preconstruction Proposal - Panel Upgrade
5/19/2021 - Installation attempt #2 (not happy with panel placement)

So I'm clocking about 15 months and have spent approximately $15000 on the panel & roofing updates. Still, no Tesla power wall nor solar on the roof. I get these emails once every few weeks:

Your Tesla Project Status​
We are still working to move your project forward. You will be notified as soon as the status changes. You can always check your Tesla account for status and helpful articles about your solar journey.​
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,929
558
auburn, ca
If you're going with a Tesla Solar Panel (and this isn't the roof, just a panel on top of the roof) you can expect some serious delays.

Sizing: 12.24 kW Solar, 3 Powerwalls

Let's see if this helps anyone out.

April 2020 - Initial order submitted
4/16/2020 - CPUC Solar Packet
4/16/2020 - PRM Inspection Affidavit (Carbon Monoxide)
6/22/2020 - Customer Layout
7/15/2020 - Preconstruction Proposal - Reroof
9/16/2020 - Installation attempt #1 (not happy with panel placement)
10/2/2020 - Preconstruction Proposal - Panel Upgrade
5/19/2021 - Installation attempt #2 (not happy with panel placement)

So I'm clocking about 15 months and have spent approximately $15000 on the panel & roofing updates. Still, no Tesla power wall nor solar on the roof. I get these emails once every few weeks:

Your Tesla Project Status​
We are still working to move your project forward. You will be notified as soon as the status changes. You can always check your Tesla account for status and helpful articles about your solar journey.​
How could you have gotten to panel placements, twice, and did not like? But just think of all that money you have saved by going with Tesla. :)
 

spsheridan

Member
Sep 30, 2019
382
353
Los Angeles
It appears Tesla made two attempts at installing the panels but in both cases, you weren’t happy with the placement. Did Tesla provide a layout of the solar panels so that you could verify the panel placement before the two installation attempts? I’m having solar panels installed (not by Tesla) and received an engineering drawing of the solar panel layout on my roof from the installer that I had to approve prior to the installation. I was able to make a couple adjustments before the drawing was finalized and installation started.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,929
558
auburn, ca
It appears Tesla made two attempts at installing the panels but in both cases, you weren’t happy with the placement. Did Tesla provide a layout of the solar panels so that you could verify the panel placement before the two installation attempts? I’m having solar panels installed (not by Tesla) and received an engineering drawing of the solar panel layout on my roof from the installer that I had to approve prior to the installation. I was able to make a couple adjustments before the drawing was finalized and installation started.
Yep, dah. I wonder if tesla were building houses if they would just show up and build, without getting the owners approval. But I wanted a 5 bedroom house and you are going to build just a 2 bedroom place.
 

spsheridan

Member
Sep 30, 2019
382
353
Los Angeles
Yep, dah. I wonder if tesla were building houses if they would just show up and build, without getting the owners approval. But I wanted a 5 bedroom house and you are going to build just a 2 bedroom place.
So the panels as installed did not match the layout you approved. I'm curious, how significant were the differences in the proposed vs. installed panel locations?
 

RKDauto

Member
Aug 6, 2018
59
42
22204
I researched different solar equipment and DIY options along with solar installers. I wanted to understand everything before I bought and installed it. I ultimately decided to purchase my own equipment after consulting with various solar people in the field. I got an optimized lead-acid battery backup system sized at 33kWh, 26kWh usable for less than $8,000 before tax incentives. The battery life should match or exceed Tesla's battery life if handled with kid gloves and costs tens of thousands less. I got a more efficient and flexible hybrid inverter than Tesla sells with 13.4kWh of solar panels. Basically, I got better quality equipment than Tesla sells, for less than half the price even with installation by a solar panel guy and a solar panel electrician. The solar panel guy was not too reliable and took his time, 5 months, but let's be honest, these are the same contractors Tesla and others are hiring to do their installs. This guy has done plenty of jobs for Solar City. You can hire an engineer to draw up the diagrams with the solar panel layout for not too much money. You should be able to come in at less than half the price of the full service installers if you are willing to educate yourself on solar equipment and electrical. The critical loads I have on battery backup + solar switch over so fast that the lights do not even flicker.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,929
558
auburn, ca
So the panels as installed did not match the layout you approved. I'm curious, how significant were the differences in the proposed vs. installed panel locations?
You must not be asking me this question since I do not have this issue. OP stated what was proposed when installers showed up is not what he wanted so he sent them away before install
 

spsheridan

Member
Sep 30, 2019
382
353
Los Angeles
You must not be asking me this question since I do not have this issue. OP stated what was proposed when installers showed up is not what he wanted so he sent them away before install
My mistake. I assumed it was the OP since you responded to the question I asked of them.
 
Last edited:

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,337
11,680
Riverside Co. CA
What exactly happened on 9/16/2020? They showed for the install and you turned them away?
When I look at that timeline, and the OPs statement of:

So I'm clocking about 15 months and have spent approximately $15000 on the panel & roofing updates.

It appears to me, that the OP got a design based on the current condition of their roof at that time (maybe roof damage, maybe vents in the wrong place, etc), accepted the design, then decided against it on first installation day. They also needed a panel upgrade, with the date AFTER the first installation attempt as a "pre construction panel upgrade", so the OPs timeline shows there was some construction AFTER the first attempt.

That would not be on tesla, that would be on OP, because the OP Would have had the design, and there was no reason for the first installation attempt at all if they didnt agree with the panel layout. Tesla provides a panel layout (where they expect to put the panels), as evidenced by everyone here who has tesla who has received one, and the entire thread with people posting them.

So sometime around 9/16 this OP decided to make some changes to their home to get more PV. Thats on them. The time between 10/2 and 5/19 is "likely" construction, etc, so shouldnt be put squarely on tesla either (although to be fair the OP does not specifically say that this is teslas fault, they just include it into the overall time of install as if this is all tesals fault).

Then, for some reason, there is an attempt at installation 2 that OP is unhappy with panel placement again. Its possible that the panel placement was not per plan, or the plan assumed some stuff that the crew didnt find when they got there, etc. We dont know.

What we DO know, though, is that this claim of 15 months with an insinuation that the "serious delays" is because of "tesla solar panel install" is, at best, not taking accountability for their own decisions.
 

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
Yes there are too may unknowns here to know what the SNAFU actually is or who is primarily responsible. However, in any project where there is a change you have to consider the time it takes through the whole ‘decision’ stream, from contract, design, scheduling and installation as there is more than one job in the pipeline. So I cannot cast blame but given what seem to be Tesla's current lead-time, (as well as others post pandemic) this seems within what's currently the norm. At least from what I've experienced. Not that it's good.
 

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