Panasonic to Invest $256Mn in Tesla’s Solar Panel Facilities in Buffalo, Production to Begin in 2017

30 Dec

By Anmol Sachdeva, The Tech Portal

Falling in line with its commitment to ramp up production post the SolarCity acquisition, Tesla has today announced via an official blog post that it has completed work on an agreement to begin manufacturing solar cells and modules in collaboration with long-time partner Panasonic. The production will take place at SolarCity’s Buffalo, New York facilities.

Extending their partnership, Tesla and Panasonic plan to break ground of production of photovoltaic cells by the summer of 2017. They will further expand the module production capacity of their factory to a massive 1 Gigawatt in the next three years i.e until 2019.

With regard to the same, Panasonic has confirmed that it will invest more than 30 billion yen (approx $256 million) in the said facilities to expedite the module as well as job creation process. The running cost of the Buffalo facility will be covered by Panasonic as the electric car maker is signing a long-term purchase commitment with them. They’ll further expand their production, stated in the blog as under:

Panasonic, with its technological and manufacturing expertise in PV production, will also work with Tesla on developing PV next generation technology at SolarCity’s facility in Fremont, CA

This partnership is expected to generate as much as 1,400 jobs at the Buffalo facility, including more than 500 manufacturing position that’ll increase over time. It will happen because the factory isn’t currently focusing on Elon Musk’s insanely cheap solar glass tile roofs but instead producing high-efficiency PV cells and modules. These products will then seamlessly be incorporated into the solar roofs, once Tesla begins manufacturing them. Panasonic’s solar technology will also be employed in Tesla’s energy storage products, Powerwall and Powerpack.

Also, this can be seen as an extension of the two tech giant’s long-standing commitment towards the development of sustainable energy and electric products. They’re currently also building a monstrous $5 billion lithium-ion Gigafactory in the outskirts of Nevada. This factory will enable Tesla as well as its recently acquired company SolarCity to work on solutions for a sustainable house, powered completely using solar energy