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Tesla's Gigafactory Will Have The Largest Solar Rooftop

14 January 2017, 8:46 am EST By Manny Simpson Tech Times
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Tesla’s Gigafactory will not only be the biggest building in the world, but reportedly also have the biggest solar rooftop. The Gigafactory is set to become operational by 2018.  ( Wayne National Forest | Flickr )

Stakeholders are raising their hopes as Tesla's recent announcement, regarding its solar rooftop installation plans, confirms that things are on track.

Earlier in January, Tesla announced that battery production for its Gigafactory or GF1 was underway in Nevada.

"Once complete, we expect the Gigafactory to be the biggest building in the world," announced the company at the time.

Tesla did not elaborate on its plans at the time. However, according to a report obtained by Electrek, on a recent investor tour, the company gave a handout that sheds light on its plans.

Tesla Gigafactory Plans: What Does The Document Reveal?

The document reveals that the factory's rooftop will feature a huge 70-megawatt solar rooftop array, which would be the world's biggest.

"GF1 is an all-electric factory with no fossil fuels (natural gas or petroleum) directly consumed. We will be using 100% sustainable energy through a combination of a 70 MW solar rooftop array and solar ground installations. The solar rooftop array is ~7x larger than the largest rooftop solar system installed today," revealed the handout.

The merger between solar power firm SolarCity and Tesla resulted in the beginning of the production of the world's largest solar panel facility. It is strongly believed that the facility's rooftop solar panels will be backed by SolarCity.

Tesla's Strategy

The current strategy for the facility is a critical part of Tesla's stated objective of a "whole net-zero energy facility." Through the energy factory, the company intends to produce as less, or more electricity than what is used.

The primary objective of the firm is to avoid direct usage of any kind of fossil fuel and instead, generate most of the facility power through solar installation. In case of any additional power remaining through the photovoltaic cells, the company plans to store it in Tesla's Powerpack storage batteries for consumption at the right time. Tesla stated that running the facility completely on solar power will result in better efficiency, without any carbon emissions.

Tesla will also have a closed loop water recirculation system. Through this, it plans to minimize usage of fresh water by up to 80 percent when compared to conventional processes. Most of Tesla's battery cells would also get recycled and converted to new cells with the help of an onsite facility for battery reprocessing.

Construction of the massive energy facility, which is still in progress, is expected to be completed by 2018. After the factory becomes fully functional in 2018, the company will start production processes for 35 Gigawatt-hours worth of batteries annually, which would be sufficient for powering more than 500,000 Model 3 cars.

Photo: Wayne National Forest | Flickr

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