January 11, 2017

Last week, an event for investors took place at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. During the event, the company shared quite a few interesting details regarding the Gigafactory 1 (GF1) as well as its plans to build the largest rooftop solar array in the world.

Currently, the largest rooftop solar array in the US can be found on a Whirlpool Corporation Regional Distribution Center — 10 MW — which is located in California. According to Tesla, the solar rooftop array on the Gigafactory will be seven times larger when compared to the biggest one in the country. At 70 MW, it will be the largest in the world.

Tesla confirmed that the GF1 is an all-electric factory as it won’t consume any fossil fuels whatsoever. It will use 100 percent sustainable energy generated with the help of the already mentioned solar rooftop array, as well as solar ground installations.

The company also shared a few words with its investors regarding the factory’s climate control system and water treatment. The building’s heating will largely be provided by waste heat that is recovered from the production processes. When it comes to water, the Gigafactory has a closed-loop water supply system with six different treatment systems that are able to reduce fresh water usage by up to 80 percent when compared with standard processes.

Tesla will make cells, battery packs, and energy storage products at the Gigafactory and wants to keep their cost down as much as possible. The company stated that it plan to achieve this by manufacturing the products domestically to reduce tariffs and input costs, increasing automation and process design to enhance yield, and improving cell design to increase cell level energy density, among other things.

As we have already reported, battery cell production at the Gigafactory, which is still far from finished, has already begun. Tesla and Panasonic are currently manufacturing the “2170” battery cells for Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products, while battery production for the upcoming Model 3 will kick off in Q2.

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