Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA - Analyst Report) and electronics manufacturer Panasonic (PCRFY - Snapshot Report) announced over the weekend that they have teamed up to produce photovoltaic cells and modules in a Buffalo, New York factory.
This is not the first time Tesla and Panasonic have collaborated on energy projects. In January, Panasonic agreed to invest up to $1.6 billion in Tesla’s Gigafactory, a $5 billion Lithium-ion battery plant outside the city of Sparks, Nevada.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic as we move towards a combined Tesla and SolarCity," said JB Straubel, chief technical Officer and co-founder of Tesla in a statement. "By working together on solar, we will be able to accelerate production of high-efficiency, extremely reliable solar cells and modules at the best cost.”
Tesla said it will use the cells and modules manufactured at the plant in a solar energy system intended to work with the company’s energy storage products Powerpack and Powerwall. Panasonic is set to begin production at the Buffalo plant in 2017, and Tesla plans to provide a long-term purchase commitment for those cells.
However, there’s a catch: the current non-binding agreement is contingent upon stockholders’ approval of Tesla’s pending acquisition of SolarCity Corp. (SCTY - Snapshot Report) , with the vote for this merger taking place on November 17.
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