Tesla's "Gigafactory 2" in New York is undergoing something of an identity crisis as of late. It's now mostly being used by Panasonic to make solar components, but soon, according to a Thursday report by Electrek, Tesla will give it new purpose as the home of electronics and energy storage (think Powerwall) production. Tesla is also using the facility to ramp up production on its materials.
Why is that a big deal? Well, there has been a fair amount of interest in Tesla's products that aren't cars, but with the brand's initial difficulties in getting the Model 3 car into volume production, those other products got pushed somewhat to the back burner. Now that production of cars has stabilized somewhat; it's becoming possible for Tesla to use some of its cell production for these other, less demanding projects.
"In addition to scaling production of Solar Roof, Tesla is also diversifying its presence in Buffalo by manufacturing and assembling Supercharger and energy storage components at Gigafactory 2," a Tesla representative told Roadshow. "We're committed to investing in Buffalo and the State, and the new power electronic lines will deliver more high-tech jobs while supporting Tesla's energy storage products and global Supercharging infrastructure."
This second wind at the factory chould create jobs and economic growth in the Rust Belt city of Buffalo. According to the Buffalo News, Tesla is less than a year from a state-imposed deadline stating that it has to basically double the size of its workforce there or get slapped with a $41.2 million penalty. This comes from the wording of the agreement that allowed Tesla to use $750 million of taxpayer money to build the factory.