June 22 (Renewables Now) - Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is closing over a dozen installation offices of its solar unit, once known as SolarCity, including in top solar states like California, Arizona and New Jersey, Reuters reports.
The news agency has seen documents detailing the US electric vehicle (EV) and clean energy firm’s plans to close between 13 and 14 locations in nine states, while keeping some 60 installation facilities open.
The firm has also cut some solar customer service jobs at call centers in Nevada and Utah, Reuters said.
Earlier in June, Tesla said it would slash employee numbers by around 9% and end its residential solar and battery sales agreement with Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) as part of a restructuring. Employees of the company have told Reuters the Home Depot partnership was responsible for roughly half of Tesla’s solar sales.
According to Ohm Analytics, Tesla’s solar business has deteriorated with volumes falling 38% from 836 MW in 2016 to 522 MW in 2017. Most of the decline was self-inflicted, as the company reduced its sales and marketing spend and moved away from a door-to-door sales model. The data service division of OhmHome, however, noted that Tesla’s solar business has hit a bottom and actually increased its market share slightly in the first quarter of 2018 from the fourth quarter of 2017.
Reuters cited Stephen Holmes, Home Depot spokesman, as saying that the partnership with Tesla would continue through the end of 2018. Another US residential solar firm, Sunrun Inc (NASDAQ:RUN), will remain with Home Depot, Holmes has said.