SolarCity’s solar cell and module factory in Buffalo, now renamed Tesla Gigafactory 2 since the automaker bought the solar company, has suffered several delays.
But since Tesla brought in Panasonic to take over some of the manufacturing efforts, the plant seems to be moving quicker.
Now, the Japanese electronics giant confirmed that they are looking to move to solar cell production in the coming months and employ 300 workers by the end of the year.
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Panasonic had been making solar modules with imported cells, but now they are able to start cell production at the location.
The Buffalo News reported this week:
“The company, which began making solar modules at the sprawling RiverBend factory in late summer, is getting ready to expand its production to include solar cells in the coming months, a spokesman said. Each solar module is a grouping of several solar cells.”
They are holding another career fair at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center tomorrow to help their hiring effort and aim to have 300 workers at the factory by the end of the year.
The effort should eventually lead to Tesla starting solar roof production at the factory.
Last month, the company said that they would be moving the production from their Fremont pilot factory to the Buffalo Gigafactory 2 during the fourth quarter, which ends this month.
We have seen Tesla starting to install more solar roof systems in recent months, but we were told that it’s still only for employees.
The volume production should come next year, which is behind schedule since Tesla first aimed to start installations this past summer.
As we previously reported, Tesla started taking orders with a $1,000 deposit for the first versions of its solar roof tiles in May and the product was sold out “well into 2018” within the first few weeks.
According to Tesla’s agreement with Panasonic for the manufacturing effort in Buffalo, the Japanese company will produce solar modules for Tesla’s solar installation business and solar cells for Tesla to use in its solar roof tiles.