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Tesla Giga Berlin runs into more bureaucratic red tape

Gigafactory Berlin (Credit: Tesla)

Tesla is running into more bureaucratic red tape in Germany at Giga Berlin, this time relating to a project that is geared toward the installation of a solar array over parking spaces.

Tesla had its construction of a solar array project stopped at its factory in Germany by authorities on Monday.

According to numerous reports on Thursday, authorities from the Oder-Spree district where Giga Berlin is located stopped construction of the solar array because Tesla planted 104 stakes into the ground without approval to do so.

Tesla should have received approval to carry out this operation as meter-long concrete piles being installed into a water protection area require a thumbs up from local authorities.

“The construction work has now been stopped at the instigation of the Oder-Spree district. At the moment, we are assuming that this is a project that requires approval,” a spokesperson for Märkische Oderzeitung, the German publication that initially reported the violation, said.

However, the district of Oder-Spree said that it assumes the low insertion depth of the piles is not likely to interfere with groundwater quality.

Tesla dealt with various hurdles when attempting to begin construction of the factory, as well as after it was built and the automaker was ready to begin production. A variety of permits, approvals, and other green lights from the government organizations were needed before the automaker could start building its all-electric vehicles on-site. Tesla received approval in March 2022 and has been ramping up production ever since.

However, the factory is far from complete. Tesla already applied for an expansion of the plant last year, looking to add an additional 100 hectares (247.105 acres), but local officials delayed a vote on the proposal indefinitely.

Local residents have also sparred with the automaker on the factory, and many are still less than content with Tesla being in the area. “It is confirmed that the monitoring of the construction site in the water area is completely inadequate, and Tesla can apparently do what it wants. It was a political mistake to set up the factory in the water protection area,” one resident said, who also represents the Association for Nature and Landscape in Brandenburg.

The Water Association of Strausberg-Erkner also applauded authorities for stepping in. “We are pleased that the competent authority has now stopped the illegal construction work due to the undeniable facts,” it said.

While the authorities in Germany may seem more difficult to deal with than most, the agencies are set up to protect local environmental standards and give citizens an opportunity to voice their concerns.

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Tesla Giga Berlin runs into more bureaucratic red tape
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