Tesla and Panasonic will be teaming up to make solar cells and modules in Buffalo, New York. The two companies announced today that a factory in that city will put together those solar products, with the first photovoltaic modules to begin production in the summer of 2017.
The cells are slated to be used in Tesla’s proposed solar roof products, and when they go into full production they will incorporate Panasonic’s cells into the several different types of solar roof tiles that Tesla will make. The company previously announced that the costs of these upcoming solar roofs should be cheaper than placing solar panels on top of normal roofs. There is still no word on when these roofs will become available to the public.
The Buffalo factory was previously owned by Solar City, which Tesla acquired in November. Today’s new announcement said that Tesla plans to create over 1,400 jobs in Buffalo, which includes ore than 500 manufacturing jobs. The company already has hired about 40 people in that city. Panasonic has agreed to pay the required capital costs in Buffalo, while Tesla will enter a long-term purchase commitment with Panasonic. The two companies are already working together to develop electric cars and grid storage battery cells at the massive Gigafactory.