Panasonic is restarting production at Tesla’s Buffalo, New York solar panel factory this week after some businesses in the Western New York region have been given the green light to reopen, The Verge has learned. The factory has been idle for roughly two months. “I decided to reopen the factory from Wednesday, 5/20,” Mark Shima, the president of Panasonic’s North American solar energy division, said in a Monday evening email to his 400 employees that was obtained by The Verge. The first two days will be spent doing equipment checks, he said, and “standard manufacturing” will start on Friday, May 22nd. Panasonic has “completed preparations under close collaboration with Tesla, such as preparation of masks, sanitizers and wipes, set new protocol for entrance, new rules in cafeteria and production floor, new seat assignment in the office area in order to keep 6’ to the next person,” Shima wrote. Employees will also have to go through a pandemic safety training before their first shift, according to the email. It’s not clear whether Tesla, which employs more than 1,000 people at the factory, is also restarting production there after having already resumed battery production in Nevada and vehicle manufacturing in California. Multiple… Read full this story
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