Tesla’s choice to restructure the company and layoff nine percent of its workforce has also affected its solar business.
Tesla bought its solar division in 2016 for $2.6 billion USD. It was previously called SolarCity and was founded by two of Elon Musk’s cousins.
The cuts will result in around 13 solar panel installation facilities closing down and the company’s partnership with Home Depot being halted, according to internal company documents that were obtained by Reuters.
The Home Depot partnership is ending because the company would rather sell its solar panels through its own Tesla branded retail stores and online, according to Reuters. The 60 remaining solar facilities will stay open.
Another former employee said that the Home Depot partnership was expensive for Tesla but it accounted for about half of the company’s total solar panel sales.
“We continue to expect that Tesla’s solar and battery business will be the same size as automotive over the long term,” said a Tesla spokesperson in an email to Reuters.
Some now ex-employees of Tesla’s solar division said that in 2015, 15,000 people worked for the company. Since it was bought by Tesla apparently thousands of employees have been let go.