Tesla and Panasonic Will Begin Solar Panel Production in New York
Tesla and Panasonic completed work on an agreement to begin manufacturing solar cells and modules at Tesla’s factory in Buffalo, New York, eventually bringing some 1,400 jobs to the region, according to Bloomberg. Production will begin this summer, with the factory’s output capacity expanding to 1 gigawatt by 2019. Panasonic will invest more than $256 million on the installation of production equipment. The total investment wasn’t disclosed in the statement.
Among the jobs being created are more than 500 manufacturing positions. Tesla is expanding its manufacturing base in the U.S. and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is on President-elect Donald Trump’s business advisory team. The announcement underscores deepening ties between Tesla and Panasonic. The two are building a $5 billion lithium-ion gigafactory east of Reno, Nevada, to produce batteries for both electric cars and energy storage products.
In October, Tesla revealed plans to work with Panasonic to make solar cells and modules. Tesla acquired solar installer SolarCity for $2 billion. Musk revealed plans for a new solar-roof made of glass tiles in late October. Tesla has several products in its pipeline. Besides the solar roof, there is enormous anticipation around the Model 3, a more affordable electric sedan that is expected to launch in late 2017. Tesla is also working on a semi truck and a transit bus.