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Tesla, Panasonic to build photovoltaic cells in Buffalo, N.Y., plant

Panasonic will invest $260 million in the facility to manufacture photovoltaic cells and modules.

By Ed Adamczyk
Joseph M. Taylor, CEO of Panasonic Corp. of North America, speaks on the Tesla Gigafactory in Reno, Nev., at the 2015 International CES trade show in Las Vegas on November 5, 2015. Tesla announced a factory producing photovoltaic cells for homes, a collaboration of Tesla and Panasonic, in Buffalo, N.Y., on Sunday. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI
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Tesla Motors Inc. announced Tuesday that 1,400 jobs will be created by a deal with Panasonic Corp. to produce solar cells in a new plant in Buffalo, N.Y.
The facility was originally scheduled to be a SolarCity Corp. manufacturing plant. Tesla, maker of electric-powered cars, acquired SolarCity in November.
Under the new arrangement announced Sunday, Panasonic will invest $260 million in the Buffalo plant, while Tesla will make a long-term commitment to purchase stationary photovoltaic cells and modules produced there.
Tesla, based in Palo Alto, Calif., and Panasonic, headquartered in Tokyo, are already collaborating on a battery manufacturing plant in Reno, Nev., known as the Tesla Gigafactory. The cells and modules are part of a plan envisioned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in which homes will be powered, and cars will be charged, by photovoltaic cells mounted on roofs of homes. Panasonic said the Buffalo plant will open in the summer of 2017.

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