Panasonic, Tesla, confirm solar cell and module production partnership in New York

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Panasonic has confirmed that it will produce solar cells at Tesla’s Buffalo, New York State gigafactory for Tesla’s partner SolarCity beginning in the summer of 2017.

In a joint statement issued by the two firms on Tuesday, the companies said that the total capacity of solar modules produced at the site will increase to 1 GW annually by 2019. In October, Tesla unveiled plans for the production of its solar roof – solar tiles embedded with PV cells produced at the company’s Buffalo factory.

“When production of the solar roof begins, Tesla will also incorporate Panasonic’s cells into the many kinds of solar glass tile roofs that Tesla will be manufacturing,” said the statement.

Panasonic will invest JPY 30 billion ($256 million) in the plant as part of a long-term purchasing commitment by Tesla.

This collaboration has long been on the cards, with pv magazine reporting last week that Panasonic would also begin providing solar modules into the U.S. for Tesla via its Japanese and Malaysian operations – a deal that will enable the Japanese electronics giant to reopen an idled factory in its homeland that had closed due to falling demand for the company’s heterojunction intrinsic thin film (HIT) PV modules.

The two companies have also joined forces on Tesla’s battery gigafactory in Reno, Nevada.