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Tesla and Panasonic to manufacture solar cells and modules in Buffalo, NY; 1GW by 2019

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.



A hand to TESLA and Panasonic for the creation of new greatly needed manufacturing jobs in USA. Automation could make those new American factories competitive. More favorable taxes could help. The new President could play a major role.

Solar roof tiles + larger Powerwalls units could have a great future in all sunny places and could reduce overall e-energy consumption enough to close many of the dirtiest CPPs.

Electric trucks and trains could transport those green products across USA (and to ports) without creating additional pollution.


Solar tiles?
Panasonic cells are expensive relative to Chinese ones, put a colour louvre film on it which is likely to reduce some wavelengths of light, cover it with tempered glass which tends to be way more expensive than untempered, allow wide margins at the edges of the roof to comply with safety regulations, and you are supposed to have a competitive product?
That is aside from trying to keep the solar cell cool enough to have decent efficiency when it is stuck to a roof instead of on a separate panel.


Solar shingles have been around for decades,
they were not popular when solar was $5 per watt.


Solar tiles are absolutely non-competitive with solar cells/modules on efficiency basis. Anyone with enough space to waste on his roof can decide to employ solar tiles.


Efficiency competitive solar roof tiles could become an interesting solution for new homes or new roofs for sunny places. New homes could be designed to capture more solar energy.

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