Tesla Motors Inc. said today that it is buying SolarCity Corp. for $2.6 billion. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, who said publicly in June that the two would try to pair, has said that the goal here is to wed the battery storage business with the rooftop solar panel business.
As many people know, Elon Musk is constructing a “Gigafactory” to mass produce batteries for the company’s electric car. But the devices that it will soon start making may also be used for utility-scale grid storage as well as residential storage, which SolarCity has been doing since 2013, on a limited basis; Musk is chairman of its board.
While SolarCity has 45 days to see if it can find a better deal, it is thought that the proposed deal with gain approval from the two sets of shareholders in the fall, and eventually the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Solar and storage are at their best when they’re combined. As one company, Tesla (storage) and SolarCity (solar) can create fully integrated residential, commercial and grid-scale products that improve the way that energy is generated, stored and consumed,” the companies said in a prepared statement.