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Tesla launches program for customers to rent solar panels

Tesla launched a new program on Sunday to enable customers to rent solar panel systems.

Why it matters: This is Tesla's latest effort to bolster its struggling solar business lines, and it's part of a wider relaunch of Tesla's solar business that CEO Elon Musk announced via Twitter.

  • Rental of systems ranging from 3.8–11.4 kilowatts are available in 6 states — Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. 

The big picture: Per TechCrunch, "Once among the largest installers of renewables in the country through SolarCity, Tesla has seen its share of the market decline significantly since its acquisition of SolarCity three years ago."

  • Their piece notes that Tesla's Q2 deployment of 29 megawatts of new installations lags far behind competitors SunRun (103 MW) and Vivint Solar (56 MW)

How it works: Tesla, on the program's web page, touted the ability to get solar systems "without upfront costs or decades-long agreements."

  • Buyers are charged a $50 monthly fee in most states (and $65 in California).
  • There's a $1,500 removal fee.

Go deeper, via Engadget: Tesla's relaunched solar power efforts include $50 panel rentals