Greg Sande: The 3rd Tesla Solar Roof in Oregon

How did I get here?

I’m a tech guy, fascinated by innovation and disruptive thinking. Tech that seems like magic. Whether it was the new iPhone introduced back in 2007, or a sports car running on thousands of little lithium batteries in 2008.

My interest in solar began about five years ago in 2015. This time the attraction was in the potential to power our house, and fuel our EV with an endless transmission of wireless energy, seemingly pulled out of thin air, direct from the sun, right to our house. A very surreal concept. So I researched several options with companies in the area and got quotes on solar panels. Most would not consider our home, since we had a cedar shake roof, and an old one at that. The bids came back expensive and assumed install only on a new composite roof. Too expensive. We decided we would for another day.

In 2016, Tesla announced a new kind of solar panel option. A series of solar roof tiles that look… well… like a normal tile roof. Excited about this new roof replacement possibility, I immediately submitted our information online — only later to find out their Solar Roof product would run more than 3x the price of new shake roof. So our dreams set aside again. But I had faith, that solar was, and is, a technology that essentially follows Moore’s Law. Like a semiconductor, doubling in performance (or reducing in cost) every 2 years or so. Now we had a strategy, a gamble.

Our home built in 1995 required roof maintenance and repair every 5 years, stealing ~$5,000 from our check book every time. Could I get our roof to last another five years, just one more time? I was hopeful that by 2021 the price of a roof like Tesla’s Solar Roof would become more common place, more affordable, a reality. For the last three years, Tesla was mainly doing installs in California as they worked out the kinks and improved their product. And then this last February, Tesla announced they were opening up the Oregon market. I quickly put in a $100 reservation, not knowing would would come next. I would wait. Months of waiting. As did the rest of the Oregon community. We knew installs were being pushed to Q4, but when? Who first?

Then on Thursday, October 29, we got a call from Tesla. Could they start on our roof next Monday? Ummm… Heck Yeah! So here we are. As of this publication, I am a recently finished, newly minted, happy solar-powered, homeowner with Tesla Solar Roof #3 in Oregon. Oh and the math? Our Tesla Solar Roof, after federal tax credit, actually came in for less money than three recent composite roof installs in our neighborhood. Our new Solar Roof, comparable in price to other “dead roofs,” but this one is alive and generating electricity for our home, helping the grid, helping the environment, and fueling our car now. A patient dream come true. Within the next year or two, solar pricing will only get more affordable and will simply become the obvious replacement (and new roof install) choice — environmentally, aesthetically, and financially.

Greg Sande

Beaverton, OR

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