Today is the big day for Tesla CEO Elon Musk's solar aspirations.
Tesla and SolarCity shareholders will vote on a merger, worth $2.6 billion, on Thursday. SolarCity shareholders will meet at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, California at 11 a.m. PT/ 2p.m. ET. Tesla shareholders will meet three hours later in Fremont, California to cast their vote.
The Tesla meeting will be webcast live to the public.
Analysts are expecting the merger to be approved.
“We fully expect the deal to go through,” Jeffrey Osborne, an analyst covering Tesla and SolarCity for Cowen & Co., said Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. “Every Tesla shareholder I’ve talked to has the view that a year from now, we won’t be talking about SolarCity’s cash needs — the solar-plus-storage story will be playing out.”
Elon Musk owns about 20% of both companies and is CEO of Tesla and chairman of SolarCity. Musk is also the cousin of SolarCity's CEO Lyndon Rive.
Musk has unveiled several energy products ahead of the merger to show his vision for the combined company. Musk showed his solar roof product on October 28 — four solar shingle options that Musk claims will have the most efficient solar cells at the lowest price.
Details on the products price have yet to be revealed, but Rive said during a conference call in early November that they are aiming for 40 cents a Watt, which would put it in line with the competition.
Musk also unveiled an improved version of Tesla's at-home battery, Powerwall 2.0, that can store 13.5 kWh of energy.
The proposed merger has gotten criticism as Tesla has a lot to contend with in 2017 as ramps up production for the Model 3. Tesla will be absorbing SolarCity's roughly $3 billion in debt as part of the merger.
Tesla is pushing its solar ambitions forward during a potentially difficult time under President-elect Donald Trump, a known climate denier.
Angelo Zino, an equity analyst at CFRA Research, wrote in a Nov.9 research note that a Trump presidency is bad for the solar industry as it could negatively impact solar subsidies.
"We believe a Trump presidency along with a Republican-led Congress poses significant risks to a potential reduction/elimination of the 30% ITC [Solar Investment Tax Credit], extended at the end of '15," Zino wrote.
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