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Tesla Gigafactory reaches over $1 billion in construction costs as battery production ramps up


As Tesla and Panasonic started battery cell production at the Gigafactory in Nevada last month, the company acquired several new building permits to continue expanding its already massive battery factory.

The addition and modification of 9 permits in January pushed the total construction cost of the plant passed $1 billion. 

Buildzoom, a construction permit tracking and contractor website, published the permits last night and they show some significant new and expensive construction projects.

After scanning through these permits one thing that stood out was the number of permits that mentioned an addendum. In fact, 29 permits, for a total of $542.65 million of construction work mention an addendum to a previous part of the project. In these permits, an addendum refers to a supplemental permit that makes changes to a previous permit filed for the project. The job value of these permits is the additional construction costs of these changes.

For example, a recent permit valued at $40 million was for changes to the section D of the Gigafactory and another one valued at $48 million was to anchor tools in the plant:

Those must be some pretty big tools.

Other interesting construction projects for which Tesla acquired permits include a microgrid lab, a nitrogen yard, and a thermal energy storage tank.

Also important to note that Tesla has paid $5.58 million in fees to Storey County for those permits – a significant amount for such a small county.

Last month, Tesla also confirmed that Model 3 drive units will be produced at the Gigafactory and they announced an additional $350 million investment for 550 more jobs in order to accomplish their new production goals. Tesla already employs over 1,000 full-time employees at the plant and that’s without accounting for construction workers and Panasonic’s own employees for the battery cell production.

The company is ramping up battery cell production for the current manufacturing of Tesla Powerwalls and Powerpacks. In the second quarter, Panasonic battery cell production is expected to start being used for the Model 3.

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