Tesla Gigafactory Permits Since July 2016 Total Nearly $100 Million In New Construction

Tesla Gigafactory - Elon Musk


Tesla Gigafactory 1 Fly-Over (11/7/2016)

Tesla Gigafactory 1 Fly-Over (11/7/2016)

We have reported in the past that BuildZoom provides information about Tesla’s building permits, to track the company’s progress. We all know that the Tesla Gigafactory has been growing substantially, and quickly. Based on the information from BuildZoom, Tesla has received 31 permits since the middle of July. The permits account for $93 million (over half of which is being applied to the construction of a new section).

Inside Tesla's Gigafactory In Nevada

Inside Tesla’s Gigafactory In Nevada

BuildZoom’s Jack Woodson shared some other interesting information as well. He said that Tesla will be making the building earthquake proof.

“While I do not know if it is common among factories to earthquake proof their production lines I do know that we have seen a number of permits for seismic work at the factory”.

Two other permits specify about $3.5 million for seismic anchoring. He also pointed out that one of the permits is simply related to the demolition of a local abandoned home on the property. Another allots over $400,000 toward the tools and line that will produce the new 2170 battery cells. A thermal energy storage tank is noted in one of the permits, and will cost about $7 million, plus another $800,000 for its “chilled water extension” (whatever that is). Also mentioned is an $8.5 million tower foundation, and smaller, simpler structures like a “cell test” building. If you visit BuildZoom, you can see the specifics of all of the permits.

Since the Gigafactory’s grand opening party, the brand new Section F has been completed, but the huge expansion ($53 million worth of the $100 million) that is slated to take place, will extend that section of the Gigafactory substantially.

Upon typing “Electric Avenue, MCCARRAN, NV 89434” into BuildZoom, prior to the huge list of permits, it reads:

According to the local building department, there were 130 building permits filed at this property over the past 2 years. 112 of them have valuations, the total of which is $477,875,652.

Before hiring a contractor, we recommend double-checking their license with the license board and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes.

Tesla has spent a nice chunk of change. Let’s hope they hired the right contractor!

Source: Teslarati

Categories: Tesla

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5 Comments on "Tesla Gigafactory Permits Since July 2016 Total Nearly $100 Million In New Construction"

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“…another $800,000 for its ‘chilled water extension’ (whatever that is).”

Probably a ground loop geothermal passive cooling system, circulating water deep underground where it’s much cooler than daytime desert temperatures. That’s a much more energy-efficient way to cool a building than to use a typical refrigerant-based air conditioner system.

The usefulness could be enhanced by using one or more large water tanks as heat sinks. In a desert environment, with wide temperature swings between day and night, using a large volume of water to stabilize the building’s interior temperature could save a great deal on heating and cooling.

Chilled water could also be used for lower-cost cooling in areas of the factory which generate a lot of heat from the manufacturing process.

This building is pretty typical of large commercial and industrial buildings. It has huge “chillers” – refrigeration machines that make chilled water (typically about 40-45 degrees F) – for both process and HVAC cooling. They have chillers like these at the Fremont plant, too. As you hypothesized, the tank is for storing chilled water at night. This is useful in several ways: Reduces summer afternoon peak kW power load by pulling chilled water from the tank at those times instead of running the chillers at full load. Can save energy by producing chilled water during the cooler night hours instead of during the peak hot hours. Can reduce chiller equipment size by sizing them for the average load instead of for the peak load, as storage takes care of the peak size issue. The Fremont plant also has a large chilled water storage tank, if you look closely at the aerial photos. They will not be using geothermal passive cooling. The plant is in the Nevada desert. The wet bulb temperature near Reno is very low (61 deg. F design WB, even when the dry bulb is 96 deg.). It is cheaper/more efficient to use industrial evaporative cooling towers to… Read more »

The one downside to evaporative cooling in the desert is the high water use.

Not sure if that’s an issue here or not.

Maybe the evaporative cooling solution will be a hybrid of being able to run dry and wet


Thank you for your detailed post! Wish I had let you go first, as this is quite clearly your area of expertise.

To follow up on Nick’s comment: Is the water used for evaporative cooling lost to the desert air, or is it condensed and recirculated?