Permits Show $386 Million Spent On Tesla Gigafactory


Tesla Gigafactory - July 2016

Tesla Gigafactory – July 2016

Once again, Jack Cookson of BuildZoom sifted through building permits for the Tesla Gigafactory. He found $63 million more spent by Tesla since his last exploration, bringing the grand total up to $386 million thus far.

Check out BuildZoom’s “Gigafactory page” here for all the building permits at Tesla’s Electric Avenue site in McCarran, Nevada.

Inside The Tesla Gigafactory-July 2016

Inside The Tesla Gigafactory – July 2016

The current structure is not even 15% of the size planned for the finished Tesla Gigafactory. Expansion will continue for years to come.

As new sections are added, temporary walls are removed from the existing building. Workers push through seven days a week, working two shifts a day to move progress forward. Over $350,000 was spent on lunch tents alone for the workers.

The first two permits totaled $16.2 million and were issued by Panasonic. Both were related to machines, tools and equipment for the partner’s use in buildings B/C.

Permits for D/E totaled $14.4 million for additional work and $9.4 million in other random expenditures, including a parking lot expansion to accommodate 2,000 cars.

The parking lot expansion, along with another permit for a massive $300,000 temporary tent were both just in time for the Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening event.

Section F expansion, one of at least two of the newest additions, seemed to cost the most of the $63 million. One permit for the structure totaled $22 million. Another unexplained permit for “seismic anchoring” rings in $9.4 million. It is assumed to be related to Section F’s foundation.

Cookson noted a permit for a “Nitrogen Yard” as well. He explained that he has no idea what that is or how it may be used by the company.

Source: Tesla Gigafactory Permits – BuildZoom (via Jack Cookson), recap via Teslarati

Categories: Tesla


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38 Comments on "Permits Show $386 Million Spent On Tesla Gigafactory"

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Regarding the “Nitrogen Yard” – there is a scientific paper called:

Electrochemical properties of nitrogen-doped carbon nanotube anode in Li-ion batteries

I don’t know what that is, but I surely want a nitrogen-doped battery!

Perhaps the Gigafactory has a room (or rooms) to be filled with nitrogen, which is an inert gas that prevents oxygen from reacting to anything exposed in the room. That might, for instance, be needed to prevent the surface of lithium metal layers from oxidizing before they are laminated into the “jelly roll” that goes into the battery cell.

Most large manufacturing sites need nitrogen in varying amounts for special purposes. Li-ion manufacturing sites need quite a bit. However, there is NO metallic lithium in a classic Li-ion battery as Tesla is using them. AFAIK the only car produced in more than prototype amount using Li-metal anodes is the Bollore Bluecar. Also, if Li metal comes into contact with (dry) nitrogen, it will form a compound called Li3N, kind of nasty to handle. The nitrogen yard possibly will be used for supply of: Intertization during electrolyte filling of the cells, some purging of pipes and tubing for various equipment, and in very small amounts QC. Other possible applications are rooms with reduced oxygen atmosphere for highly sensitive equipment (like automated cell formation chargers) and last but not least a fire safety measure (in case one of the expensive machines catches fire for some reason, flushing the factory with water or corrosive fire extinguishing powder is not an option. Flushing with nitrogen to minimize the damage is a possibility (and used in the battery industry. And don’t forget liquid nitrogen is a potential coolant as well. I would not be very surprised if they’d use it to cool superconducting wires… Read more »

The biggest factory in the world. We can see it from the dwarf planet. The Giga Giggle factory.


“Giggle factory” (rather than Gigafactory) is a term that perpetual Tesla bashers use over on Seeking Alpha. I guess they think it’s funny.

Just one more symptom of TES*. There should be a support group for this tragic mental disorder. 😉

*Tesla Envy Syndrome

Dr. V — Thanks for confirming you are from the Dwarf Planet, and not actually human.

I thought you agreed to disclose your short position on TSLA stocks when posting on Tesla stories and topics? Is your view from the Dwarf Planet supposed to be code for your short position?

“The biggest factory in the world.”
Or the biggest empty build in the world.
11% complete and behind schedule.

Actually it is ahead of schedule.

Can’t help but notice the new usernames popping up here to spew anti-Tesla FUD.

Obviously a concentrated effort by a few short-selling d-bags selling out their country for a few shekels.

No doubt they will be Trump voters too!

Not according to latest news, though.

did you loose much money on your TSLA shorts?


Does anybody have an idea about the cost of the planned solar cell installation on the roof and the surroundings of the Gigafactory? I’m trying to get an idea on how much Tesla is going to save just on this project due to SolarCity takeover.

I suspect even Tesla Motors doesn’t have more than an estimate of how much that’s going to cost. After all, SolarCity’s factory hasn’t yet started making solar panels.

And that’s assuming that Tesla will be using SolarCity panels for the roof of the Gigafactory. Perhaps they will, but I think it’s rather early to say. After all, Tesla stockholders have not yet approved the SolarCity buyout… and I think it’s far from certain that they will.


Thank you!

I’m going to disagree on this one Pushmi. With all the big wigs pushing the same direction, it’s unlikely there would be enough of a rebellion to counter their wishes.

Also in the interim, Musk is going to be doing his best persuasion tactics to get as many rank and file on board as possible.

Likely you know more about how actual stockholders are likely to vote than I do. So thanks for your input on this subject.

I thought the dip in Tesla stock price, following the announcement of the proposed merger, indicated that most stockholders were opposed to the deal. However, according to an Electrek article (link below), most of the institutional investors are in favor of the merger, and (according to that article) will control the vote.

Panel costs are really not all that different between vendors. Solarcity’s output from the Buffalo, NY plant has to be market competitive, so from Tesla’s perspective, buying the output of that plant, or selling the output of that plant and buying panels from other sources really doesn’t matter much at all. It is only an issue if they can’t sell the output of the plant – if that’s the case, then Tesla/Solarcity has other problems.

Likely, the solar roof is the last thing that goes in, at least on a per phase basis. Matter of fact, they may not want to put in a solar roof until the adjoining sections are done… it’s an active construction site.

The timing of the solar roof installation is likely based on a number of criteria that we just don’t have ready access to, but clearly it is still in the plans.

One has to laugh at just how insatiable this audience must be for Tesla news. Imagine trying to cook up stories based on the building permits of Toyota or Honda. Would anyone read it?

Don’t get me wrong, I get it (in the case of the gigafactory – can’t say the same about quarter miles and drag races). The gigafactory is crucial to Teslas future plans and Tesla is probably the most important company for EVs and a more sustainable future. It’s justified. Even so, just imagining seeing similar headlines about other companies does make me chuckle!

I wouldn’t mind reading more articles about the Holland MI LG plant. Or the GM battery lab in Brownstown MI.

Didn’t a German company say they plant to build a gigafactory? I’d like to know if they’ve pulled any permits.

Terawatt — There are stories about companies building new factories all the time here.

Just today there was another story about the new factory to build Fisker Atlantics. Just recently there was a story about Mercedes building a new factory. And there have been story about a VW battery factory, a Faraday factory, an LG factory, etc…

If you don’t think there is any worthy information in any gigafactory stories, don’t click on the stories about it. And for heaven’s sake, if you don’t think the topic is worthy of your bandwidth, don’t click on it, post on it, and then keep coming back over and over to re-post on it.

When I’ve read as much on a topic as I’m interested in, I just don’t more stories about that topic. You must get very tired reading every story on the internet every day, whether you are interested or not….

Plus they had had a bunch of stories on Faraday, and they have done nothing, except talk about what they are going to do.

Faraday is held up by the Nevada government who has to do millions in site infastructure work before Faraday can start…
NV is now questioning their financing and put a hold on the infastructure work…
Seems to me they should have done that before they signed on the dotted line…

Terawatt said:

“One has to laugh at just how insatiable this audience must be for Tesla news. Imagine trying to cook up stories based on the building permits of Toyota or Honda. Would anyone read it?”

Not saying you’re wrong; yes, we Tesla fans are insatiable for news! But Toyota and Honda aren’t leading a disruptive tech revolution. Tesla Motors is. Furthermore, Toyota and Honda don’t have volatile stocks which have climbed more than 10x their initial value in just a handful of years.

Furthermore, it’s not so silly to believe a stock investor might well think it’s worth the effort to search thru data which might yield an early tipoff of something affecting an important construction project.

We saw the same thing on the (now defunct) TheEEStory forum, regarding a company with far less interest by investors and the public: Repeated searching of public records for building permits, and endless discussion of what the data on those permits might indicate.

Nice Pushmi,

I too watched EESTOR for a while. Still one day capacitors will be the answer. Maybe for the airplane and boating industry.

It’s because of the level of interest.

Looking at permits is the kind of background fact-checking that financial analysts do to try to model progress and costs.

Headline News:

AP ( Reno, Nevada )

A steel worker at the site of the Tesla Gigafactory had gas pains and had to be rushed to Mercy Hospital where he was given antacids.

More to come*.

*retired reporter and Tesla critic , Brad Blandstone is currently scanning all public records of worker’s compensation claims related to the Tesla Gigafactory jobsite.

🙂 It’s about THAT bad!


You’re not exaggerating by much. There has already been an article (or two) here on InsideEVs about a labor dispute at the Gigafactory; one which involved only a few dozen workers. Not to mention several articles about a couple of local newspaper reporters who snuck onto the Gigafactory property (over a fence and past NO TRESPASSING signs), and had an altercation with security guards.

So… Hmmm, yes, I’d say we Tesla fans (which includes some or all of the InsideEVs staff) are a bit obsessed about it. 🙂

” bringing the grand total up to $386 million thus far”
So $386 million / 15% = 2.57 billion

Assuming that all costs are distributed evenly per stage of construction. There may have been huge upfront costs for things like all of the site preparation that has already been spent for those later stages.

Of course on the flip side there will be other items late in construction that will be implemented all at once for the entire built factory that will add cost after the last stage. Like all of the renewable on-site power generation.

Anyway the Gigafactory is claimed to cost $5 billion in the end so it looks like at least on the surface they are not obviously way over budget.

Cost projections have now increased, because they’ve increased their battery output target to 150GWh.

Look at that picture and consider the Model 3 reservations alone paid for all of it plus a little more.

I look at the 225 million dollar football stadium they are building on the college campus near me and think Tesla is getting a heck of a good deal. They have a roof, hvac, and you could probably pack in more than 30000 people into the Giga factory. Not to mention a nitrogen yard.

Mike said:

“…you could probably pack in more than 30000 people into the Giga factory.”

But just think of all the poor hamsters they would have to turn out into the cold!×293.jpg


Seismic anchoring is just to cover the secret underground activities. Musk is in direct contact with Lacerta. They try to save the world. Human species is just too stupid.

Some Lacertains have deemed the humans far too violent to be brought into the collective. Musk pledges that given time they can improve greatly. We shall see if they are wise enough to overcome their fears and prejudices in time to save their species.

Nitrogen yard? Tesla branded nitro beers on the way?


“Commercial nitrogen is often a byproduct of air-processing for industrial concentration of oxygen for steelmaking and other purposes.” – wiki