Headquartered in California, Tesla’s Solar division specializes in solar services for the residential and commercial markets of the U.S. The subsidiary designs, finances, and installs solar power systems with the eventual aim of bringing clean energy to anyone.
In a recently filed lawsuit, Walmart said Tesla installed solar panels that went up in flames on seven of its store rooftops between 2012 and 2018, causing millions of dollars in damages.
Walmart had leased or licensed roof space to Tesla at more than 240 locations for the installation, operation, and maintenance of solar panels.
Now, Amazon, another massive corporation, has stepped forward to claim that the solar panels installed by Tesla’s SolarCity division burst into flames, as well.
According to Bloomberg, Tesla’s solar panels caught fire on the roof of one of Amazon’s warehouses in Redlands, California.
The incident reportedly happened back in June 2018, but the e-commerce giant just came out with the information.
Amazon confirmed that it only has a small number of solar systems installed by Tesla and that it had taken measures where those systems were installed to protect both its workers and operations.
News stories like these provide negative press for solar technology and can cause lasting damage to Tesla’s corporate PR.
“I’m very certain this specific story will blow off in about a week or so,” says Derick Lila, Managing Director at pvbuzz.com. “What I’m worried about is how this affects the years of work convincing large corporations like Amazon, Walmart, Apple, etc. to adopt solar—and on the safety of installing solar panels on their facility rooftops.”
Both the Amazon and Walmart fires could be attributed to a faulty part found on the systems called the “connector”, yet Tesla has not fully discussed the cause of the fires.