It is the Gigafactory’s big week. On Friday, Tesla will hold the ‘Grand Opening’ event for what has been called the ‘pilot plant’ of its battery factory, which will offer 13 million-square-foot of workspace once completed while the current plant cover just over 1.9 million-square-foot. The factory aims to produce at least 50 GWh of battery packs when at full capacity and to reduce the cost of batteries by more than 30%.
Now Tesla released a new picture of the ‘Gigafactory 1’ site in Nevada and it shows early work on 4 new sections, which should about double the size of the current plant.
Last month, we reported on Tesla acquiring additional permits for new sections of the Gigafactory. The latest building permit was for the expansion of the area ‘D’ into the area ‘E’ and it is valued at $63 million – making it the job with the biggest valuation of any project related to the Gigafactory to date.
Now it looks like in addition to the fifth section, there are 3 more sections getting ready for a structure with concrete already poured in the latest section.
The new picture was released today by Tesla for a New York Times article which includes quick interviews with Elon Musk and JB Straubel. They didn’t really release new information, but Straubel did imply that the new sections will be ready to produce batteries within the next 12 months, which gives us a good idea of the timeline for a new section to get to production.
Here’s a side-by-side of the site as it currently stands and a rendering of the final plant (click for higher resolution):
There’s obviously still a lot of work to be done for the building to reach the 13 million-square-foot mark, but they are progressing fast.
Stay tuned to Electrek this week for a lot more updates on the Gigafactory leading to the Grand Opening event on Friday.
Update: Elon Musk has since confirmed that Tesla now plans to produce around 150 GWh of batteries at the plant and Tesla released a new series of aerial pictures.
Update: Reader Side Notes is doing some great photoshop visualizations of the new constructions in the comment section below: