As we reported earlier this month, new building permits at Tesla Gigafactory 1 were acquired for a first new section of the plant in 2017 and new satellite images showed construction starting on the north side.
Now a flyby of the battery factory gives us our first good look at the new section.
The current structure has a 1.9 million square-foot footprint and about 4.9 million square feet of operational space. It represents only ~30 percent of the total finished Gigafactory.
The new section, called ‘Section G’, is the most significant addition to the site in 2017. Tesla has been focusing on the interior of the already giant factory this year as it starts production of battery cells and packs.
It should add another 5 to 10% of the total footprint of the building, which is not expected to be completed until 2020.
A flyby at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center by Bill Arends taken on May 4th emerged today (h/t to misfitshlb) showing the construction of the new section at that time (warning loud):
The construction apparently progressed over the past few weeks.
Here are satellite images taken around the same time of Arends’s video (left) and from last week (right) (via Planet Lab):
It shows the new structure growing and the darker roofing section changing. The change on the roof was thought to possibly be the start of a solar installation, but Electrek was able to confirm that the solar project at the plant hasn’t started yet.
Tesla announced earlier this year that it plans to build a 70 MW solar rooftop installation at the factory, which should be big enough to become the largest solar rooftop installation in the world – ten times over.
The company aims to power the entire factory entirely from renewable energy as its energy needs grow with production.
By the end of next month, Gigafactory is scheduled to start producing Model 3 battery cells and packs, as well as Model 3 drive units in order to ship to Tesla Factory in Fremont for the start of Model 3 production, which Tesla claims is still on schedule for July.