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It's official: Tesla completes deal to buy SolarCity

Tesla Motors is now the official owner of SolarCity.

The $2.1 billion merger between the electric vehicle maker and the solar energy systems installer closed on Monday morning, four days after shareholders from both companies voted to approve the deal by wide margins.

At Tesla, more than 85 percent of the shares were voted in favor of the deal. At SolarCity, the margin was even wider, with almost 99 percent of the shares voted in favor of the merger.

The merger combines Tesla, the nation's biggest electric car company with SolarCity, the nation’s biggest rooftop solar installer in a deal spearheaded by Elon Musk, who is Tesla's CEO and SolarCity's chairman.

The merger positions Tesla to build on Musk's vision of creating a renewable energy powerhouse that can combine electric vehicles with solar panels and the batteries needed to both power the cars and store the energy produced by its rooftop solar.

Musk also has said the merger will create a renewable energy powerhouse that can provide integrated products that wouldn't be possible separately.

Late last month, the companies unveiled a new solar roof that combines solar modules with Tesla's batteries. Musk initially said the solar roof would compete with conventional roofs on price only when factoring in the savings homeowners get from the electricity the solar shingles generate over the life of the roof, prompting estimates that a solar roof could cost upwards of $70,000.

But Musk said last week that he now believes Tesla can reduce the price of the roof to the point where it would be competitive with conventional roofs, without factoring in decades of electricity savings, although he did not say how the expected price dropped so rapidly in just three weeks.

The solar roof is expected to be a key product for Tesla as it begins making solar panels at a massive factory that the state is building in South Buffalo. The $900 million factory, part of the state's Buffalo Billion economic development plan, is expected to begin production by next summer.

The merger approval was a strong vote of confidence by shareholders in Musk's vision is to create a company with products that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat global warming. Electric cars replace vehicles that run on gasoline and diesel fuel. Electricity from solar panels replaces power generated by conventional power plants that run on coal or natural gas.

Musk also sees the two companies having a similar customer base, eventually allowing Tesla to sell not only electric vehicles at its nearly 200 stores across the country, but also solar power.

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