Tesla and Panasonic have agreed to partner on the production of solar panels at a new facility in Buffalo, New York. The agreement, which is actually a non-binding letter of intent, is contingent on shareholder approval of Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity.
The partnership, which was announced in a blog post on Tesla’s website, would see the photovoltaic cells and modules used in a solar energy system that works with Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage products — possibly the new product that Tesla plans to unveil on October 28th.
Tesla and Panasonic already work together to build batteries at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. The new partnership would be an expansion of current SolarCity operations in Buffalo.
"We are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic as we move towards a combined Tesla and SolarCity," said Tesla CTO JB Straubel 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 and SolarCity shareholders will vote on the proposed merger between the two companies, both of which count Elon Musk as the largest shareholder, on November 17th. It’s possible that this announcement, along with the one on October 28th, are meant to showcase the possible synergies of a merger to the shareholders of both companies.