Tesla appears to be stepping up its efforts to cover the roof of the Gigafactory Nevada with solar panels. This was recently hinted at in a flyover of the site where several new rows of solar panels were placed on the roof of the massive facility.
The images were recently shared on Twitter by the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley group, which was very much appreciated by the electric car community. Interestingly, a large number of new solar panels appear to have been installed on the roof of the facility only in the past few weeks. This is evidenced by satellite imagery archived by Building Tesla. This shows that the volume of solar panels in the facility was still much lower on September 24th.
Given the recent pace of Giga Nevada’s solar systems, it wouldn’t be surprising if most of the roofs on the existing system were covered with solar panels by the end of the year. Such a milestone would definitely be praised by the electric vehicle community and Tesla supporters, as the expansion of Giga Nevada’s photovoltaic systems has so far been largely irregular.
In February 2018, solar panels were first discovered on the roof of the massive facility. Over the next several months, the PV system was expanded until two massive rows of solar panels could be seen on aerial photographs of the site. By August 2018, the installation of four rows of solar panels was completed, and then the project was discontinued. The solar modules on the roof of Giga Nevada remained unchanged until October 2019 when a new set of modules was installed by the end of November.
Completing the installation of solar modules at Gigafactory Nevada would be an important milestone for Tesla and a big step for the facility, which has been around 30% complete for years. After all, Tesla has always claimed that the Nevada facility is designed for sustainable energy. Having a massive solar array on the roof definitely helps the company achieve such a goal.
The Gigafactory Nevada plays a key role in Tesla’s operations in the United States. The facility is jointly operated by Tesla and Panasonic and is responsible for producing the 2170 cells and the powertrain of the Model 3 and Model Y. Tesla and Panasonic have pushed the boundaries of battery cell production at the site and today, although the facility is only 30% physically complete, it is already the largest battery cell production facility on the market.