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Tesla, Panasonic agree to make PV cells in Buffalo

The Buffalo skyline on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015.

The Buffalo skyline on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Photo Credit: AP

TOKYO - Japanese electronics company Panasonic and U.S. electric car maker Tesla said Tuesday they plan to begin production of photovoltaic cells and modules at a factory in Buffalo, New York.

The two companies said they finalized an agreement calling for Tokyo-based Panasonic to pay capital costs for the manufacturing. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla made a "long-term purchase commitment" to Panasonic.

Their statement gave no financial figures.

The factory in Buffalo is under development by SolarCity Corp., a San Mateo, California-based solar panel company owned by Tesla. The PV cells and modules it produces will be used in solar panels for non-solar roof products and solar glass tile roofs that Tesla plans to begin making, the announcement said.

Production is due to begin in mid-2017. Tesla said it will create 1,400 jobs in Buffalo, 500 in manufacturing and plans further expansion in Buffalo.

Panasonic also is to work with Tesla on next-generation technology, the companies said.

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