Satellite reconnaissance: Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada is getting more solar modules

Even the factories at Tesla should exude a special elegance and become a kind of brand themselves with a characteristic diamond shape – and of course the company wants to use as much clean electricity as possible for production thanks to solar modules on the roof. This is also planned for the new German Gigafactory near Berlin, although not specifically planned so far. But satellite photos of the battery factory with Panasonic in the US state of Nevada, whose roof was largely solar-free for a long time, now show that Tesla is implementing its announcement there.

Tesla factories as computer visions

Tesla shows both its battery Gigafactory with Panasonic in the US state of Nevada and the new German one on the web as computer photos that have little to do with reality: The one in Nevada has the shape of an elongated octagon, the Gigafactory in Grünheide the a quarter of it (because more parts are to follow). In the Tesla visualization, the roof of the Nevada factory is almost entirely covered with solar modules, the German one somewhat sparsely in interrupted groups. In reality, however, the US Gigafactory is currently L-shaped, and no syllable is used in the applications for the German photovoltaic power from the roof.

After reports, Tesla representatives insisted that the German factory would definitely get their solar modules – CEO Elon Musk had also publicly committed to this. The project boss, who has meanwhile been dismissed for unknown reasons, also confirmed to when asked that Giga Berlin would later be upgraded with photovoltaics – the roofs were designed to be strong enough for this. And as new satellite images show, the subsequent loading of the battery factory in Nevada with modules is already making progress.

That can be neglected because the ESA Sentinel satellite also regularly flies over Nevada and takes pictures. The Building Tesla service uses them to offer practical before-and-after comparisons of Tesla locations around the world: You enter two dates and then use a slide to switch from the early to the new photo.

New modules for Gigafactory Nevada

For Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, it can be seen that it had a narrow strip of photovoltaics in two rows at the north end of the building as early as mid-2018. Little changed for a year, but by the end of 2019 three more and apparently wider solar rows were added. After the Sentinel recordings, there was a standstill again until the end of September 2020. But since then, more module series have gradually been added, according to the latest pictures from this week, a total of three.

Compared to the initial state, the photovoltaic output at the Tesla factory in Nevada should have already multiplied. However, at most a sixth of the entire roof area was still occupied by modules. For the environmental balance of electric cars, it should be better if Tesla starts earlier at its new Gigafactory in Grünheide.


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