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Tesla and Panasonic Finalize Deal to Make Solar Cells

Panasonic and Tesla have finalized a joint partnership to develop solar cells.

Panasonic will invest about $256 million in a Tesla production facility in Buffalo, N.Y., Reuters reported. The electric carmaker plans to use Panasonic solar cells and modules for a panel that will work with Tesla’s batteries for homes, building, and the power grid.

Panasonic will exclusively supply batteries for Tesla’s first-mass market car, the upcoming Model 3, according to Reuters. It also creates batteries for Tesla’s Model S and Model X.

As Tesla prepared to acquire solar company Solar City in October, the car manufacturer seemed to be considering making a similar deal with Panasonic for solar technology. The deal was contingent on Tesla’s acquisition of Solar City, and could indicate Solar City’s limitation in terms of mass production of solar cells.

In a joint statement released Tuesday, the companies say they’ll begin production of solar modules in the summer of 2017. They plan to increase one gigawatt of module production by 2019.

 

Panasonic also plays a large role, in terms of both manufacturing and investments, at Tesla’s battery factory, which is under construction near Reno, Nev.