What’s going on with Panasonic solar panels?
Electronics giant Panasonic Corp. has announced that they are exiting the solar photovoltaic manufacturing industry within 18 months. On January 31, 2021, the Japanese brand issued a press release outlining their plans to scrap their unprofitable solar cell.
Panasonic will continue selling Panasonic-branded modules but through a subcontracted manufacturer. While they will liquidate their Malaysian factory, the Japanese factory will continue to produce inverters, storage systems and other products.
In the Japanese brand’s press release, they outlined their plans to shutter the Malaysian factory. They will also liquidate their Panasonic Solar Energy Malaysia subsidiary, and lay off staff. A company spokesperson subsequently said they chose to take this step after deeming it impossible to maintain cost competitiveness.
This complete exit from the market comes after Panasonic ended its manufacturing partnership with Tesla in 2020. They also 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.
How does this affect U.S. consumers?
Leaving the development and manufacturing of their solar panels to another company will bring some positive effects to Panasonic.
- A new product lineup from OEM solar panels sold under the EverVolt brand.
- Outsourced solar panel modules covered under their 25-year product and performance warranty from Panasonic.
- Panasonic will shift their focus toward the residential energy storage and management market.
For existing Panasonic Solar Customers:
As one of America’s most trusted solar panel brands, Panasonic has decided that they will stand behind their existing warranties to cover the 25-year product and performance warranties. This means that homeowners with Panasonic solar panels will not see much of an impact with this move.
If you previously installed these panels with NRG Clean Power, you will still benefit from Panasonic’s 25-year product warranty along with our 40-year workmanship warranty.
Panasonic has largely been considered one of the world’s largest manufacturers of consumer electronics and an increasingly popular choice for U.S. homeowners installing solar. Panasonic’s heteroinjuction technology (or HIT), included across their product lines, provides a unique take on the solar cell. Their HIT, HIT+ and HIT AC series are all high-performers. Interestingly enough, Panasonic was the most quoted solar panel brand by U.S. homeowners on EnergySage in 2019.
The Japanese company will still have a robust residential installation program in North America and has more recently shifted focus to its EverVolt battery system and new EverVolt solar panels.
What will happen to Panasonic solar panels?
Panasonic will procure solar panels from other manufacturers to stay in the power industry through such businesses as installing generation systems for residential use.
The company will continue to sell solar modules with its brand, with their manufacture sub-contracted out. The third-party-manufactured products will be sold in Japan after domestic production ceases, Panasonic stated, as is already the case for overseas markets.
Panasonic has been a leader in heterojunction technology (HJT) since acquiring the original patents from a SANYO acquisition. Panasonic’s unique HIT line of modules use a smaller 125-mm/5-in. wafer made in-house for 96-cell modules catered to the residential market. It is unclear whether or not the HIT solar panel models will be available on the market after March 2022.