Tesla and Panasonic will make solar cells in Buffalo if SolarCity deal succeeds

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Tesla and Panasonic have agreed to begin production of photovoltaic (PV) cells for use in solar power home installations that works with Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack solar storage products. The arrangement is non-binding at this stage, however, and will depend on the Tesla acquisition of SolarCity going through to take effect.

If the SolarCity/Tesla deal does close, Panasonic will start production of PV cells and modules for Tesla at a Buffalo facility in 2017, with Tesla saying it’ll make a long-term commitment to buy cells produced by the supplier. Panasonic is already Tesla’s partner for producing the batteries that power its vehicles, as well as those in its home energy storage solutions.

In a blog post, Tesla noted that the continued partnership between itself and Panasonic is an important piece of their larger goal of creating sustainable energy product for home use, and for doing so with the best costs possible.

Tesla and SolarCity’s leadership have both expressed their desire to unify the two companies under the Tesla brand. The proposed deal has seen some pushback, however, including from shareholders who filed a lawsuit opposing the union. Meanwhile, Tesla CEO and SolarCity board chairman Elon Musk is planning to reveal how a combined Tesla/SolarCity solar roof, power storage and vehicle charging solution will all work together at an event on October 28. Tesla and SolarCity shareholders will vote on the proposed acquisition on November 17.



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