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Tesla Gigafactory: new aerial shots show plant more than doubling in size [September 2016 update]


Back in July, Tesla officially inaugurated the first phase of its Gigafactory in Nevada – the first 4 sections of the building seen above. Now new aerial pictures show that the automaker is already well on its way to bring up the structures for 4 more sections to more than double the size of the already massive plant.

The pilot factory is about 1.9 million square feet of operational space, but those new constructions ahead of the start of battery cell production will increase that number significantly.

Tesla says that the structures going up at the South end of the factory add up to 2.5 million square feet and the new structure that is just starting to go up at the North end will add an additional 930,000 square feet.

Of course, that’s also only a fraction of the overall building once completed. Tesla aims for the Gigafactory to become the biggest building in the world by footprint at 5.8 million square feet and second largest building in the world by total square footage of over 13 million.

All that space will be used to more than double the world’s li-ion battery production with 150 GWh of potential annual capacity in order to support Tesla’s Model 3 program and its stationary energy storage products.

We sent a pilot to take some pictures to update us on the progress of this incredibly important project.  You can see the new sections in more details in other pictures further down, but we also see a few new interesting things:

The first picture shows a giant hole Tesla dug into the hill next to the factory. It’s not clear why it is there. The second picture shows some significant progress on the new state highway that Nevada agreed to build for Tesla as part of its incentive package to bring the factory to the state.

It connects the factory to highway 50 near Silver Springs and Dayton.

While constructions is underway on the new sections, the factory is also about to significantly increase the amount of products it manufactures and ships from its completed sections. Tesla Energy is expected to ramp up by the end of the year. First to deliver Tesla’s recent 80 MWh project with Southern California Edison and then with the next generation Powerwall to be unveiled next month.

Here’s a video of the flight over the Gigafactory:

Tesla and Panasonic are also expected to start production of the new ‘2170’ battery cell at the factory by the end of the year.

Here’s a gallery of high-resolution pictures taken yesterday (sept 24). Click on the gallery to see the pictures in higher resolution:

The pictures were commissioned by Electrek and taken by Joshua Mcdonald from Nevada Tailwheel

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