No one ever accused Elon Musk's companies of thinking small: In a blog post discussing SolarCity's (SCTY) acquisition of module developer Silevo, the company states it's in talks with the state of NY to build an initial module plant with "a targeted capacity of greater than 1GW."
Moreover, the company will later build "one or more significantly larger plants at an order of magnitude greater annual production capacity."
SolarCity, in remarks that bring to mind Tesla's Gigafactory plans: "Our intent is to combine what we believe is fundamentally the best photovoltaic technology with massive economies of scale to achieve a breakthrough in the cost of solar power."
In spite of today's module capacity glut, SolarCity asserts shortages are only a matter of time as solar demand grows, in the absence of huge investments. SolarCity has thus far relied on 3rd-party module suppliers for its installations.
Silevo claims its Triex technology enables solar cells with 22%+ efficiency and 5%-12% greater energy harvest in arid climates, while remaining cost-competitive with low-cost silicon cell producers. The company has been eying both residential/commercial and utility-scale projects.