Tesla and Panasonic have announced a partnership to build solar cells and modules in New York, but this alliance depends on next month’s completion of Elon Musk’s SolarCity acquisition.
Tesla currently works with Panasonic on batteries for its production of electric automobiles, but both names are looking to branch out. The two companies are slated to begin production of solar technologies at the Buffalo-based SolarCity factory as early as next year.
However, this is extremely reliant on whether or not Tesla finalizes its purchase of SolarCity, this November. Tesla and SolarCity have been planning for a merger since an announcement in August of a possible SolarCity acquisition by Tesla. Next month, shareholders for both companies will vote on whether the deal goes through. Elon Musk currently owns more than 20 percent of SolarCity and serves as chairman for the company. Musk’s cousin, Lyndon Rive, serves as SolarCity’s chief executive.
Tesla announced the latest partnership with Panasonic in a blog post, late Sunday:
“Tesla and Panasonic have entered into a non-binding letter of intent under which they will begin collaborating on the manufacturing and production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules in Buffalo, New York. Under this agreement, which is contingent upon shareholders’ approval of Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla will use the cells and modules in a solar energy system that will work seamlessly with Powerwall and Powerpack, Tesla’s energy storage products. With the aid of installation, sales and financing capabilities from SolarCity, Tesla will bring an integrated sustainable energy solution to residential, commercial, and grid-scale customers.”
“We are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic, as we move towards a combined Tesla and SolarCity. 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,” says Tesla CTO and co-founder, JB Straubel.
As of now, the plans are up in the air. The industry as a whole will need to wait and see if the SolarCity deal goes through. Although, a combined Tesla and SolarCity event scheduled for Friday, October 28 could reveal more details on Musk’s motives prior to the SolarCity deal closing in November.
Stay tuned. TecHome Builder will keep you up-to-date on this developing story.
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