Tesla Gigafactory Drone Footage From December 2016 – Video



Tesla Gigfactory - December 2016

Tesla Gigfactory – December 2016

Tesla Motors has released some drone flyover footage of its Gigafactory from December 2016.

This brief video is from before the start of battery cell production at the site and prior to the announcement the Model 3 electric motor production will occur at the Gigfactory too.

It provides us with a look at how construction is progressing (note the unfinished sections) while the site is actually in use.

According to Tesla, the Gigafactory (as seen in the video) has a footprint of 1.9 million square feet and 4.9 million square feet of space. That’s only 30% or so of the size of the Gigafatcory once complete.

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21 Comments on "Tesla Gigafactory Drone Footage From December 2016 – Video"

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Cool view. Anyone know what that round “Roman Colosseum-like” structure is going to be?

I assume it is going to be some kind of liquid tank?

Maybe part of the chiller plant?

“The Gigafactory will have an enormous chiller and water tank on site. The water tank holds 1.5 million gallons of water which is larger than two Olympic sized pools. The permit doesn’t specify the use of the water tank. The giant refrigeration yard will likely cool batteries used for testing.”

Usually they put chillers on the roof and it connects directly to the mechanical room inside the building but since the roof is going to be covered in PV panels they will have to put it on the ground next to the factory.

It will be a water tank.

We have them all over the place here. I have no idea why they need so many internal columns.

Two possible explanations come to mind:
a) real heavy concrete roof, matching the concrete walls
b) the structure could be the foundation of a cooling tower (like the ones found at conventional power plants)

A tank made from concrete does not corrode, and needs practically zero inspection and maintenance, but concrete is not the usual choice to keep a large amount of liquid inside (we are talking >5000 metric tons), unless the walls are externally reinforced by submerging the structure, like a large swimming pool. Would be possible, at that location. This also answers the questions why chillers are not on the roof. There is no need to add 5000 tons (+ considerably weight of chillers) to a roof structure when there is plenty of empty desert right next to the building. Noone would consider to put the parking lot up there, either (5000 cars are about the same weight).

It’s a Gigajacuzzi that can fit all of the workers from the Gigafactory during their lunch break.


We can now assume that the diamond shaped concept of the factory is not gonna happen.

Perhaps not. I think it still needs to be built outwards a fair bit more, so they may not have reached any corners yet.

Gigafactory wont reach it’s final shape & size for a few years yet.

From the start this “building” was to be constructed section by section, where finished sections are used immediately.

Hence walls there are features not bugs, to use programmer motto 😉

Seriously this thing is huge, and Tesla do not need it all to start Model S/X/3 production there.

Already behind those walls workers work on normal shifts on ordinary machinery to produce batteries.

On the contrary, there is every reason to believe that “emerald cut” shape is still being planned for the competed building, as shown here:


When will the Wind farm be added on the hill behind the factory?

And when will they begin putting up the solar panels on the finished sections?

Probably will wait until Solar City merger is done and their giant PV plant in NY is finished and operating this Summer.

So no PV on the roof……lol

Something tells me that Nevada laws (made by the local electric power companies there) are going to make it damn near impossible for them to setup PV on the roof.

On the contrary, Tesla’s deal with the State of Nevada specified how much power would be provided from the grid to the Gigafactory, and anything beyond that has to be provided by Tesla using solar and wind power.

Personally, I don’t expect Tesla to start installing solar panels and wind farms until the electric power draw of the factory gets close to the maximum provided by its grid power hookup. The capital investment needed for those solar panels and wind farms is something Tesla can easily delay until they’re actually needed. Tesla needs every dollar it can get (or borrow), over at least the next couple of years, to build out the production lines for the Model ≡ — and for sufficient battery cell production to supply those cars.

I suspect that installing solar panels and wind farms at the Gigafactory which Tesla can get along without, for now, is very low on Tesla’s priority list.

Just my opinion, of course.

And also, it’s been reported that Tesla’s deal with the State of Nevada included “$8 million in discounted electricity rates for eight years”.


Get yourself some information before posting stupid things.

They would be stupid to give money to the competition (in China) to buy solar panels right now to put on top of a bulding that is only less than 30% completed. PV comes last, when there are all walls done (and a roof to put it on).

Also, the Gigafactory in Buffalo needs to be up and running first, so the superior panels are in-house made and thus most cost efficient.
Nevada law abolished net-metering, which is hurting small time users most. It’s still legal to put up any amount of panels on your own roof and do whatever you want with the power as long as you don’t expect to sell it to the grid and make money when you make more than you use. Roof-top solar will surely not cover all the energy demand of the Gigafactory. Building this size would require a small power plant when powered by the grid. They will build lots of additional PV (and maybe some wind turbines) on the hills, to meet the full demand.
Also, Nevada is strongly supporting Tesla investment (and the jobs and wealth that come with it).

I would imagine that they smart way out for tesla would be to incorporate a power company as a subsidiary, that would mean that they could sell suplus electricity as they circumvent the net metering bull shit.