Tesla slashes size of Gigafactory solar array but says it will still grow to be largest in the world

by 9SIX

Tesla has slashed the targeted size of the planned solar array at Gigafactory Nevada, but the automaker says that it will still grow to become the largest in the world.

In 2017, Tesla announced plans for a giant 70 MW rooftop array at Gigafactory Nevada, which would be the largest in the world by a wide margin.

The project has been lagging for a long time.

Tesla finally started construction of the solar array in 2018 and expanded on it throughout the next few years, but it has never grown near the size Tesla has been talking about.

Today, with the release of its 2020 Impact Report, Tesla gave an update on the project and confirmed that it has now deployed 3.2 MW on the factory’s rooftop.

Also, Tesla is not talking about 70 MW anymore.

The automaker now says that the solar array at Tesla Gigafactory Nevada is going to grow to 24 MW by the end of 2022:

“Gigafactory Nevada was designed to be covered with solar panels. to date, we have installed solar panels with a capacity of 3,200 kW. This installation will grow to about 24,000 kW – the whole roof of the current building structure – by the end of next year. This will make it the largest rooftop solar installation in the US.”

Tesla is still maintaining that it will be the largest solar rooftop installation in the US.

To be fair, there are much bigger solar farms than 24 MW out there, but Tesla is specifically talking about rooftop solar arrays and not ground-mounted installations.

The automaker says that it is also installation more solar capacity at its Fremont factory, Lathrop facility, and Gigafactory New York.

Electrek’s Take

3.2 MW is kind of disappointing four years into a project that is supposed to be 70 MW, but Gigafactory Nevada as a whole has been disappointing in some ways.

The factory has been producing a lot of battery cells, packs and drivetrains for Tesla, but the giant structure has been stuck at ~30% completion for the past three years.

There have been no indications that Tesla is going to follow through with its plans to complete the giant building in the near future.

We expected that Tesla might continue construction to house its own battery cell production at the plant or expand Panasonic’s cell production capacity.

If Tesla does ever complete the building, it might be able to go back to its original goal of a giant 70 MW solar array.

Source: electrek

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