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Tesla Giga New York Reopens After Panasonic Head Decides To Resume Work This Week

by Ma. Claribelle Deveza May 20, 2020

Tesla-Giga-New-York-Reopen-Solar-Roof-Panasonic

Featured Image Credit: Tesla

 Tesla Giga New York in Buffalo, NY reopened after Panasonic decided to resume operations. Tesla and Panasonic’s collaborative operations in Giga New York ended prior to the facility’s lockdown. However, both companies continue to share the same factory. As such, Tesla could also resume its work in Giga New York soon, too. 

The president of Panasonic’s North American solar energy division, Mark Shima informed the company’s 400 employees that Giga New York would reopen through email, reported The Verge. “I decided to reopen the factory from Wednesday, 5/20," wrote President Shima. 

Originally, Tesla and Panasonic were supposed to work on Solarglass Roof together. Now, the two companies work on their two distinct solar products separately, but from the same location: Giga New York. The end of their collaboration was announced in February and Panasonic has plans to take its operations out of Giga New York by the end of June. 

Given that Panasonic has already reopened Giga New York, Tesla could resume work in the factory soon. The EV automaker started ramping Solar Roof V3 earlier this year before governments started enforcing lockdowns. According to the TSLA Q1 2020 Earnings Call, Solar Roof V3 ramp was doing quite well before lockdowns and demonstrated the capability to install at least 1,000 systems a week

Tesla Energy is probably raring to pick up right where it left off. Since Panasonic has already returned to work, Giga New York should have already met the necessary safety requirements to reopen. So Tesla should have no problem resuming Solar Roof V3 production. 

In his email, Shima also stated that Panasonic worked closely with Tesla to prepare Giga New York’s reopening amid the ongoing global pandemic. Panasonic has “completed preparations under close collaboration with Tesla, such as preparation of masks, sanitizers and wipes, set a new protocol for entrance, new rules in cafeteria and production floor, new seat assignment in the office in order to keep 6’ to the next person,” he disclosed in his email to Giga New York employees working for the Japanese brand.

Tesla released its Return to Work Playbook when it was trying to get permission to reopen the Fremont factory. Panasonic probably implemented some of the safety precautions in Tesla’s Playbook for its employees in Giga New York. For instance, the Return to Work Playbook does include safety measures for employees in the cafeteria, which Shima mentioned in his email to Panasonic workers. 

Based on Tesla’s Playbook, some of the new rules in the cafeteria that Panasonic could be enforcing include: 

  • Ensure food service and vending areas have wipes and a plan for extra cleaning and/or materials for self-cleaning. 
  • Ensure food service is touchless or touches are minimized such as with boxed foods (do not allow multi-use food service such as buffet, cereal dispensers, etc.). For items that remain, ensure proper wipes or gloves are provided for touchless service. 
  • Ensure drink and coffee dispensers are modified to reduce contact. If multi-use stations are allowed by local government, provide sanitary wipes that can be used between people. 
  • Provide touchless cups and utensil dispensers or provide wipes to clean between uses.

 




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