After a recent leak finally revealed that Tesla Motors’ new Gigafactory is to be built in Nevada, the company confirmed the news late last week and released a new image of the proposed design. In a joint announcement with Nevada governor Brian Sandoval, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that the $5 billion project will be powered by renewable energy and run at net zero energy.
The new design for the Gigafactory features a roof covered in solar panels, while a wind farm still sits off to one side of the structure. The previous design put the solar array on the ground near to the factory, so the new design is much more space efficient. By being “net zero” the factory won’t have to be off-grid, but it is pledged that it will be powered by renewables. In a separate comment, Musk stated the Gigafactory would be “shaped like a diamond” for increased efficiency during the building process, so the latest concept design may yet get further tweaking.
The economic impact of the project on Nevada will be huge. As Governor Sandoval stated: “This is great news for Nevada. Tesla will build the world’s largest and most advanced battery factory in Nevada which means nearly one hundred billion dollars in economic impact to the Silver State over the next twenty years.” The factory is anticipated to directly create 6,500 jobs and a further 16,000 jobs indirectly, which would increase state employment by two percent and regional employment by over 10 percent. Musk also revealed that Nevada didn’t offer the biggest incentive package of the five states competing to host the Gigafactory, but the state is offering $1.25 billion in tax incentives to Tesla over 20 years, allowing it to effectively operate tax free in the state for 10 years.
In making the announcement the Governor noted the project is still “subject to legislative review and approval.” But State Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick assured, “On behalf of the State of Nevada, I would like to acknowledge this monumental day and provide my initial support. This is a significant opportunity to make a major stride to improve our statewide economy. I look forward to receiving the necessary information so the Legislature can meet and take necessary action to support this major industry coming to Nevada.” And while the other four states that were in the running to host the first Gigafactory must be disappointed, they can console themselves with the knowledge that Musk believes that 200 Gigafactories would eventually be needed to convert all the world’s cars to electric, so their turn may yet still come.
Photos by Tesla Motors