Tesla, Pana­sonic to make so­lar cells in Buf­falo, New York

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

BUF­FALO, New York: Ja­panese elec­tron­ics com­pany Pana­sonic and US elec­tric car maker Tesla said Tues­day they plan to be­gin pro­duc­tion of so­lar cells at a fac­tory in Buf­falo, New York. The two com­pa­nies said they fi­nal­ized an agree­ment call­ing for Tokyo-based Pana­sonic to pay cap­i­tal costs for the man­u­fac­tur­ing. Palo Alto, Cal­i­for­nia-based Tesla made a “longterm pur­chase com­mit­ment” to Pana­sonic. Their state­ment gave no fi­nan­cial fig­ures. The fac­tory in Buf­falo is un­der de­vel­op­ment by So­larCity Corp, a San Ma­teo, Cal­i­for­nia-based so­lar panel com­pany owned by Tesla.

The pho­to­voltaic cells and mod­ules will be used in so­lar pan­els for non-so­lar roof prod­ucts and so­lar glass tile roofs that Tesla plans to be­gin mak­ing, the an­nounce­ment said. Pro­duc­tion is due to be­gin in mid-2017. Tesla said it will cre­ate 1,400 jobs in Buf­falo, 500 in man­u­fac­tur­ing and plans fur­ther ex­pan­sion in Buf­falo. Pana­sonic also is to work with Tesla on next-gen­er­a­tion tech­nol­ogy, the com­pa­nies said. New York state has com­mit­ted $750 mil­lion to build and out­fit the plant at Buf­falo’s River­Bend site, the cen­ter­piece of Demo­cratic Gov.

An­drew Cuomo’s “Buf­falo Bil­lion” pro­gram to re­vi­tal­ize the up­state re­gion’s largest city. So­larCity has com­mit­ted to in­vest­ing $5 bil­lion over 10 years in New York state, hir­ing al­most 1,500 work­ers at the Buf­falo plant for five years and em­ploy­ing at least 2,000 more peo­ple across New York in ex­change for use of the state-owned plant. In Oc­to­ber, when word emerged about the pos­si­ble man­u­fac­tur­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion, the head of New York state’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment agency said So­larCity will be held to job cre­ation prom­ises made when the state com­mit­ted fund­ing to build and out­fit the plant, which is ex­pected to be­gin pro­duc­tion next sum­mer.

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