Tesla Gigafactory Texas Megapack energy storage project gains approval

Image Credit: Tesla Inc.

Tesla’s Megapack will power one of the company’s biggest production plants as the automaker and energy company has landed approval for a massive battery energy storage system (BESS) project at Gigafactory Texas, filings show.

On August 9, the City of Austin officially approved the project, which has no set capacity as of yet but is listed at 53.27 acres in size. Tesla’s planned capacity for the BESS project, which will utilize the company’s commercial battery known as Megapack, will likely be revealed in the site plan when it is finalized by the automaker. The City of Austin currently has the site plan listed as “Pending.”

Megapacks are utilized in many large-scale applications across the world and are capable of storing 3 MWh of energy — enough to power an average of 3,600 homes for one hour.

Tesla filed the project with the City of Austin on March 25, labeling the project as “GIGA TEXAS LCRA PERMANENT SWITCHYARD & BESS.”

Credit: City of Austin

Tesla has been building Gigafactory Texas for several years, and production and deliveries began in April of this year. Building the Model Y initially, Tesla plans to bring a number of its future projects to the plant for manufacturing, the most notable being the Cybertruck. Musk confirmed once again last week that the Cybertruck would begin production at Gigafactory Texas next year.

Gigafactory Texas is a considerably large plant, and when it’s churning out vehicles at full capacity in a few years, Tesla will likely build between 500,000 and 1 million vehicles at the plant. Unpredictability in terms of weather and climate in Texas may be the main reason for Tesla’s strategy to build a massive BESS project at the plant. Texas gets incredibly hot during the Summer but also has harsh winters. Last year, Tesla faced this first-hand during the early construction phases of the factory. Frigid temperatures moved through the region and caused widespread outages.

Tesla’s BESS project at Gigafactory Texas will help avoid these unpredictable situations. Vehicle production stoppages can cause months of turmoil even if lines are inactive for a few hours, so Tesla is obviously taking steps to avoid this at all costs.

However, Tesla needed to go through the normal regulatory processes, which were officially completed last week. Austin approved the project on August 9.

Tesla has plans to expand the factory in other capacities as well. In July, Tesla filed to build on a 68.11-acre plot of land, which would be held for “industrial use facilities with associated improvements.”

Tesla’s approved permit for the Gigafactory Texas BESS is available below.

TeslaGiga Texas LCRA BESS Permit_signed by Joey Klender on Scribd

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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