Photo via Tesla

Tesla’s enormous Gigafactory will be powered by the sun

Tesla's rooftop solar array will be seven times larger than today's biggest rooftop solar setup.


Christina Bonnington


Published Jan 17, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 4:45 am CDT

Nothing Tesla is doing with its Nevada Gigafactory is in moderation, and that includes how the giant 5.8 million square foot compound will get its power. 

In a document given to investors and obtained by Electrek, Tesla explains that its enormous battery cell-making factory will use zero fossil fuels. Instead, it will largely source power from the sun, specifically a 70-megawatt array of rooftop solar panels. This rooftop array, roughly seven times bigger than Whirlpool Corporation’s 10-megawatt installation in California and the world’s current largest, a 11.5-megawatt array in India, will be supplemented by a solar panel installation on the ground, as well. 

Tesla’s factory will also include a number of other environmentally friendly measures. For heat, the structure will reuse waste heat from the battery manufacturing process. The building will also employ a water re-circulation system that should minimize fresh water consumption by 80 percent (very good news since the factory is in the middle of the Nevada desert). An on-site recycling center will allow old Tesla battery cells, modules, and packs to be reprocessed for use in new cells. 

As we saw in recent drone footage, Tesla’s gigafactory is enormous, and the building isn’t even completely finished yet (even though it’s already producing Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy-storage battery pack cells). Once completed in 2020, it’ll be the world’s largest building by footprint.

H/T Digital Trends

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*First Published: Jan 17, 2017, 1:42 pm CST