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Tesla obtains $11.5 million in transferable tax credits after passing latest audit for Gigafactory 1

While it was widely reported that Tesla received $1.3 billion in incentives from the state of Nevada to build its factory east of Reno, the automaker has only received a small fraction of that amount and the rest is gradually being unlocked as tax credits as Tesla reaches job and investment requirements under the agreement.

The company passed its latest audit of the project and unlocked $11,567,061 in transferable tax credits.

The audits are always a few quarters behind and the latest one released this week was for the third quarter, July 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016,

Grant Thornton performed the audit and judged the number of jobs created by Tesla, the percentage of employees from Nevada, and Tesla’s total investment, all to be satisfactory to receive the transferable tax credits.

By the end of the third quarter, Tesla had over 300 full-time employees and 91% of them were Nevada residents, which satisfies the state’s requirements.

Same goes for Panasonic, which had over 50 employees at the end of September, and for construction workers. 990 employees worked on the construction of the Gigafactory during the period – 55% were Nevada residents.

The number of employees has increased significantly since the reporting period. Panasonic started production of battery cells and Tesla started production of the second generation Powerpack and Powerwall at the factory. Those production lines created lots of jobs.

Tesla says that it currently employs over 1,000 full-time employees and Panasonic employs over 300 employees. Those numbers are expected to skyrocket within the next 12 months as Tesla ramps up for Model 3. The company writes:

At peak production, the Gigafactory will employ 6,500 people (targeted for 2018) and eventually as many as 10,000 employees. Indirectly, the Gigafactory will create between 20,000 to 30,000 additional jobs in the surrounding regions.

6,500 is the only number Tesla needs to achieve under the agreement with the state. They also need to comply with investment requirements, but the accelerated production plans are pushing ahead of the schedule.

Tesla had invested over $800 million in the plant as of the end of the third quarter, but the number is also expected to be significantly higher at this point. The Gigafactory reached just over $1 billion in construction costs alone recently based on accumulated building permits.

The company doesn’t directly benefit from the tax credits, but they are transferable so they can sell them.

Last year, Tesla earned direct cash from the program for the first time by selling around $20 million worth of transferable tax credits to MGM Grand Casino.

Here are the letters between the Office of Governor Sandoval and Tesla, as well as the audit from Grant Thornton obtained by Electrek:

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