Panasonic unit established to make PV cells in Buffalo, NY

The Buffalo facility. Image by SolarCity (www.solarcity.com).

Feb 3 (Renewables Now) - Japan’s Panasonic Corp (TYO:6752) at the start of the month established a new subsidiary, Panasonic Eco Solutions Solar New York America, to make in Buffalo, New York, high-efficiency solar cells for the North American market.

As previously announced, Panasonic and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) have agreed a solar manufacturing partnership. Details are still scarce, but Panasonic confirms that requisite facilities and equipment will be in place for the planned start of production this summer.

Tesla recently acquired solar installer SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), which in 2014 announced that it had started building a 1-GW-plus photovoltaic (PV) panel manufacturing facility in Buffalo. The plan at the time was to use technology by Silevo, whose high-volume manufacturing operations are based in China.

Panasonic is to invest in the Buffalo factory roughly JPY 30 billion (USD 246.5m/EUR 266m), according to previously available information, while Tesla has made a long-term purchase commitment.

Tesla dropped "Motors" from its name this week, as it is no longer focused on electric vehicles only, but is evolving into a sustainable energy company. Together with SolarCity the company wants to offer a three-part solution, including the solar roof, Powerwall energy storage and electric cars.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for almost nine years. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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