SolarCity acquires Silevo to build world’s largest solar panel factory

17 Jun 2014

SolarCity, which includes Elon Musk as its chairperson, has struck a deal to acquire solar panel producer Silevio with plans to build the world’s largest solar panel factory in the world.

Announcing it on the Solar City blog, Musk, along with Peter Rive (COO) and Lyndon Rive (CEO) went on to say that while the acquisition of the company is unlikely to be followed by any further major acquisitions, they may look at other photovoltaics companies as needed “to ensure clear technology leadership and we plan to grow internal engineering significantly.”

The manufacturing plant is expected to be built in up-state New York at a targeted capacity greater than 1GW within the next two years, it will be one of the single largest solar panel production plants in the world.

They expect to follow this in subsequent years by one or more significantly larger plants at an order of even greater annual production capacity.

The trio in the joint announcement went on to say about this deal and the future of SolarCity: “We absolutely believe that solar power can and will become the world’s predominant source of energy within our lifetimes, but there are obviously a lot of panels that have to be manufactured and installed in order for that to happen. The plans we are announcing today, while substantial compared to current industry, are small in that context.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic