SolarCity Corp. said Tuesday it has signed an agreement to acquire solar-panel maker Silevo, based in Fremont, Calif., saying its ultimate goal is to achieve "a breakthrough in the cost of solar power." No other acquisitions are being planned, but the solar installer said it would consider buying more solar-panel makers "as needed to ensure clear technology leadership." Silevo's modules "have demonstrated a unique combination of high energy output and low cost," SolarCity added. The solar installer added that discussions with New York state to build a manufacturing plant as initiated by Silevo will continue. The plant would have capacity greater than 1 gigawatt within the next two years, and it will be one of the largest solar panel production plants in the world. "This will be followed in subsequent years by one or more significantly larger plants," SolarCity said. Deflecting potential criticism in becoming a solar supplier, the company said that there "are indeed too many suppliers," but the ultimate goal is to lay the groundwork to ensure the "massive" volume of affordable, high efficiency panels needed for unsubsidized solar power to outcompete fossil-fuel grid power. Shares of the solar installer opened higher Tuesday, recently up 0.5%.

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