Panasonic announced today that it will cease the production of solar products at its Malaysian and Japanese factories, exiting the solar panel and wafer manufacturing market by March 2022. Panasonic will continue selling Panasonic-branded modules but through a subcontracted manufacturer.
While the Malaysian factory will be liquidated, the Japanese factory will continue to produce inverters, energy storage systems and “other products.”
Panasonic has been a leader in heterojunction technology (HJT) since acquiring the original patents from a SANYO acquisition. Panasonic’s HIT line of modules are unique, using a smaller 125-mm/5-in. wafer made in-house for 96-cell modules catered to the residential market.
The Japanese company has a robust residential installation program in North America and has more recently shifted focus to its EverVolt battery system and new EverVolt solar panels. The installer program should continue uninterrupted.
This exit from the manufacturing market comes after Panasonic ended its manufacturing partnership with Tesla in 2020 and left Tesla’s “gigafactory” in Buffalo, New York. Tesla had been using Panasonic solar cells in its Solar Roof products but has since turned to Chinese manufacturers.