At a recent event for investors, Tesla revealed some tantalizing details about its Nevada factory, which is now producing battery cells. The company is now calling the massive manufactory Gigafactory 1 (GF1), a hint of hopes to build similar facilities in Europe and/or China.
Tesla has long planned to make this a fossil fuel-free facility. Now it has confirmed that there will be both ground-based solar installations and the world’s largest rooftop array – 70 MW, 10 times larger than the largest existing one in the US.
GF1 will be a showcase for the state of the art of clean energy. “A large portion of building heating is provided by waste heat recovered from production processes,” reads a handout provided at the event. “Gigafactory’s closed-loop water supply system uses six different treatment systems to efficiently recirculate about 1.5 million liters of water, representing an 80% reduction in fresh water usage compared with standard processes. Construction is underway for an on-site recycling facility that will safely reprocess all types of Tesla battery cells, modules, and packs, into various metal products for reuse in new cells.”
According to the handout, the Model 3 battery pack was featured on the tour, but we don’t know exactly what the investors got to see. Tesla has confirmed that it plans to use its new 2170 battery cells in Model 3 battery packs as soon as Q2 2017.
Tesla is now forecasting a production capacity of 35 GWh of battery cells and 50 GWh of complete packs in 2018, and three times those amounts when full production begins around 2020.