Has Tesla finally begun installing what could be the world’s biggest rooftop solar array on top of gigafactory in the Nevada desert?
More than one year ago, the US EV, solar and and battery storage giant aired plans to power its Gigafactory 1 through a combination rooftop and ground mounted solar.
“GF1 is an all-electric factory with no fossil fuels (natural gas or petroleum) directly consumed,” Tesla said at the time (January 2017).
“We will be using 100 per cent sustainable energy through a combination of a 70MW solar rooftop array and solar ground installations. The solar rooftop array is ~7x larger than the largest rooftop solar system installed today.”
But after a year of no action, and no further word from the company, the project soon took on an almost mythical status, as rumours surfaced that the plans had been abandoned.
Now, new satellite imagery of Gigafactory 1, dated February 21 and originally published by a website called Building Tesla, has rekindled hope that the project was going ahead.
“Tesla finally started construction on what could become ‘the world’s largest solar rooftop array’ at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada,” reported the website Electrek on February 21.
The images, copied above, show an aerial perspective of the Nevada factory – which makes the company’s battery cells with Panasonic, energy storage products for Tesla Energy, as well as its own Model 3 battery packs and cars – with a small array of PV panels at one end of its huge roof.
What does it all mean? Hard to say. RE has reached out to Elon Musk via his favoured mode of communication – Twitter – to ask for any official word that the small collection of panels sighted on the roof mean that the fabled 70MW installation is underway.
Updates to come.