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Tesla Begins Production of Solar Roof Tiles in Buffalo, New York


INHABITAT — The company is already installing solar roofs but has been making them on a small scale near its vehicle factory in Fremont, California. Now that the factory in Buffalo is running, production is expected to increase substantially. Reportedly, traditional solar panels will also be produced in the factory.

AP News reports that Tesla’s partner, Panasonic Corp., will produce the photovoltaic cells while Tesla workers combine them into modules that fit into the solar tiles. Said JB Straubel, Tesla’s Chief Technical Officer, “By the end of this year we will have the ramp-up of solar roof modules started in a substantial way. This is an interim milestone that we’re pretty proud of.”

SolarCity was acquired by Tesla last year for around $2 billion. It was run by cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who sat on the company’s board. Straubel said, “This factory, and the opportunity to build solar modules and cells in the U.S., was part of why this project made sense.”