SolarCity has agreed to acquire solar panel manufacturer Silevo for as much as $350 million in stock in a deal that puts the clean-energy company squarely into the production business.
The San Mateo, Calif., company also unveiled an aggressive and costly plan to build out manufacturing capacity over the next few years, starting with a massive solar panel plant near Buffalo, New York.
“Our intent is to combine what we believe is fundamentally the best photovoltaic technology with massive economies of scale to achieve a breakthrough in the cost of solar power,” SolarCity said in a blog post on Tuesday morning.
“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,” it added.
SolarCity leases, sells and installs rooftop solar panels for homes and businesses. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk is chairman as well as a major stakeholder.