Tesla appears to be ramping its efforts to cover Gigafactory Nevada’s roof with solar panels. This was hinted at in a recent flyover of the site, which showed several new rows of solar panels being set up on the roof of the massive facility.
The images were shared recently on Twitter by the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley group, to much appreciation from the electric car community. Interestingly enough, it appears that a large number of new solar panels in the facility’s roof have been set up only in recent weeks. This is evidenced by satellite images archived by Building Tesla, which shows that as late as September 24, the volume of solar panels on the facility was much lesser.
With the recent pace of Giga Nevada’s solar panel installations, it would not be surprising if most of the existing facility’s roofing gets covered with solar panels by the time the year ends. Such a milestone would definitely be lauded by the electric vehicle community and Tesla supporters, seeing as the expansion of Giga Nevada’s photovoltaic systems has been largely irregular so far.
Solar panels were initially spotted on the roof of the massive facility in February 2018. Over the next few months, the PV system was expanded until two massive rows of solar panels could be seen in aerial photos of the site. By August 2018, the installation of four rows of solar panels has been completed, and then the project was halted. Giga Nevada’s rooftop solar panels remained unchanged until October 2019, when a new set of panels were installed until late November.
Completing the installation of solar panels in Gigafactory Nevada would be a key milestone for Tesla, and it would be a massive step for the facility, which has remained about 30% complete for years. Tesla, after all, has always maintained that the Nevada facility is designed to run on sustainable energy. A massive rooftop solar installation definitely helps the company move towards such a goal.
Gigafactory Nevada plays a key part in Tesla’s operations in the United States. Operated jointly by Tesla and Panasonic, the facility is responsible for the production of the Model 3 and Model Y’s 2170 cells and powertrain. Tesla and Panasonic have been pushing the boundaries of battery cell production in the site, and today, even with the facility being just 30% complete physically, it is already the largest battery cell manufacturing facility in the market.