It's not a surprise, as Tesla hinted at a very large battery plant at the site for quite some time. It could have a manufacturing capacity of more than 100 GWh per year, and expand to an even bigger 200-250 GWh per year at a later stage.
As we know that Tesla is working on in-house developed 4680 cylindrical cells, that are supposed to be integrated with vehicle structure, this is the cell type that we expect to be produced in Germany.
The Tesla Giga Berlin plant has been under construction since about a year, but still needs months before the production of Tesla Model Y will begin. At least initially the battery cells will probably be sourced from other plants - Tesla has a pilot facility for 4680 cells in California. There is also an option that at first the company will continue to use 2170-type cylindrical cells.
The official press release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Protection (MLUK) of the State of Brandenburg says that Tesla also asked for permission for other changes at its site:
- an expansion of the press shop with two more press lines, which should serve to expand the vertical range of manufacture in the plant (1,180 foundation piles will have to be installed for the expansion of the press shop)
- the body shop is reduced to a single production line
- production steps for the manufacture and painting of plastic components such as bumper and rear-view mirror covers to be added at the site
- the application contains various measures to reduce water consumption, so that despite the expansion of the plant, water consumption will probably continue to be around 1.4 million cubic meters per year and the expected amount of wastewater will be around 925,000 cubic meters per year
In other words, Tesla moves forward, adjusting its plans. Here is one of the latest videos from the site, as of June 2, 2021: