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Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada tops $1.3 billion in construction costs

Tesla filed 112 new building permits for its Nevada Gigafactory during 2017, with the electric car maker and energy company investing another $379.9 million on the now-$1.3 billion facility. 

The new permits filed by the Elon Musk-led firm signified the ongoing development of Gigafactory 1, with Tesla filing a number of addendums to its existing structures and in-house facilities. As noted by BuildZoom, a trend evident in Tesla’s 2017 permits was the high occurrence of project addendums, which correspond to improvements done on facilities that are already in operation.

Over the course of 2017, 50 of the 112 permits filed by the electric car maker and energy firm were addendums to previous structures, including its chiller yard and microgrid lab. Improvements were also implemented for Sections F and G, among others. The overall cost of these updates is valued at $165.6 million.

As revealed by the permits filed by the company in 2017, Tesla opted to add a metrology lab in the Nevada factory. This particular addition is quite notable since metrology equipment is primarily used in the auto industry to ensure that components assembled on the line are built according to precise measurements.

According to a report from Automotive Manufacturing Solutions, metrology equipment are used in car manufacturing to conduct off-line, near-line, and in-line inspections of vehicle components coming off production. These inspections, which are conducted through the utilization of devices such as 3D laser trackers, ultimately improve a car maker’s precision and accuracy when manufacturing parts of a vehicle. 

During Tesla’s Q3 2017 earnings report, the California-based firm noted that one of the primary constraints on the production of the mass market vehicle was its battery module assembly line. According to Tesla, the battery modules, which were “done by manufacturing systems suppliers” was significantly “redesigned” by the company, ultimately resulting in a delay in the production of the Model 3. With this in mind, the addition of a metrology lab, which ensures that components produced on-site are manufactured according to specifications, seems to be a step in the right direction.

Other permits that were filed by the California-based electric car company include a brazing oven that automates metal joining, a hot oil skid system that stores and transfers heat fluids, an air separation yard that separates atmospheric air into elemental components, and a chiller yard that removes heat from liquids.

Here are some of the more interesting Tesla Gigafactory project additions in 2017, as noted by BuildZoom

  • A metrology lab (November 8, 2017)
  • A brazing oven to automate metal joining (November 8, 2017)
  • $179,850 for a hazmat building addendum (November 1, 2017)
  • $13.7M for hot oil skid systems to store and transfer heat fluids (March 13, 2017)
  • $10.8M for air separation yards to separate atmospheric air into elemental components
  • $2.6M for chiller yards to remove heat from liquids

Tesla’s Gigafactory seems to be growing from within during the past six months, with most improvements to the facility happening in-house. While external developments along the north and south ends of the factory have remained relatively unchanged since August 2017, the number of permits filed by the car maker during the year prove that Tesla’s efforts in the factory’s improvement have been nothing but consistent.

Once completed, Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory will be the largest building in the world in terms of physical footprint, with the entire facility set to cover an area of 13 million square feet.

Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada tops $1.3 billion in construction costs
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