Tesla and Panasonic finalized an agreement to begin the manufacturing of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at the Buffalo, NY factory. These high-efficiency PV cells and modules will be used to produce solar panels in the non-solar roof products. 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.
As part of the agreement, Panasonic will cover required capital costs in Buffalo and Tesla is making a long-term purchase commitment from Panasonic. The collaboration extends the established relationship between Tesla and Panasonic, which includes the production of electric vehicle and grid storage battery cells at the Tesla Gigafactory.
All of these solar products will work seamlessly with Tesla’s energy storage products, Powerwall and Powerpack. Production of the first PV modules will begin in summer 2017, and will ramp to 1 Gigawatt of module production by 2019.
Tesla launched its PowerWall 2 residential energy storage and Solar Roof products in late October. The 13.5 kWh (usable) Powerwall 2 unit doubles the energy capacity of Tesla’s first-generation unit, and can power an average two-bedroom home for a full day.
Tesla’s solar roof tiles are solar cells in a roof tile format—with a choice of four styles: Tuscan, slate, textured and smooth. The solar tiles integrated into the roof are invisible when viewed from the street, yet are fully exposed to the sun from above.
As Tesla and Panasonic begin production, Buffalo will continue to expand Tesla’s American manufacturing base and create thousands of new jobs in the coming years.
Tesla reaffirmed SolarCity’s commitment to create more than 1,400 jobs in Buffalo—including more than 500 manufacturing jobs. 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.