Panasonic will supply PV modules to Tesla from its factory in Malaysia, as well as restarting an idled factory in Japan, according to an exclusive in the Nikkei Asian Review.
The deal will allow Panasonic to sell its heterojunction intrinsic thin film (HIT) modules to SolarCity customers in the United States, representing a major inroad to one of the largest residential solar markets in the world. In the most recent quarter the United States installed around 500 MW of solar PV on homes and apartment buildings, and SolarCity holds around a 1/3 share of this market.
This deal comes at a good time for Panasonic, and will allow the company to resume operations at its factory in Kaizuka, Japan some time in 2017. In recent financial results Panasonic reported declines in the sales of its heterojunction intrinsic thin film (HIT) PV modules, which it has blamed on market contraction in Japan.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) notes that heterojunction technologies such as HIT are well-suited to the space-constrained residential market, as their higher output can offset higher costs. However, BNEF Senior Research Associate Xiaoting Wang says that the recent collapse in PV module prices calls this logic into question.
“Investors’ calculation analyses are not holding anymore,” Wang told pv magazine. “That is the main challenge HIT is facing.”
The new deal also represents a further collaboration between Tesla and Panasonic, which have been working together since well before Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity. Tesla and Panasonic were already collaborating on Tesla’s battery gigafactory in Reno, Nevada, before Tesla announced that Panasonic would operate SolarCity’s new gigafactory in Buffalo.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.