Tesla is partnering with Panasonic to manufacture and produce solar cells and modules at a SolarCity factory in Buffalo, NY.
The agreement will remain tentative until shareholders approve Tesla’s acquisition of the California energy services firm SolarCity. The electric car company made a $2.86-billion all-shares bid in June for SolarCity, which was founded by Musk’s cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive. Musk is the largest shareholder.
The new partnership extends the existing relationship between Tesla and Panasonic, which includes the production of electric vehicle and grid storage battery cells at Tesla’s Gigafactory. The new plan is for Panasonic to begin PV cell and module production at the Buffalo facility next year. Tesla would then offer Panasonic a long-term purchase commitment for those cells.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic as we move towards a combined Tesla and SolarCity,” Tesla co-founder and CTO JB Straubel said in a blog post. “By working together on solar, we will be able to accelerate production of high-efficiency, extremely reliable solar cells and modules at the best cost.”
Tesla is calling the deal “an important step in creating fully-integrated energy products for businesses, home owners and utilities,” adding that it “furthers Tesla’s mission toward a sustainable energy future.”
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.
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