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Tesla Plant Solar keeping up the momentum

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by Ludus, May 28, 2013.

  1. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rooftop_photovoltaic_installations

    With a 5 million square foot plant in a relatively sunny climate, Tesla is in a position to get some very positive coverage by becoming both the largest rooftop solar installation in the world and the only "solar powered auto factory". Under the Solar City contract approach it shouldn't cost Tesla anything as long as they have an investor (who would get the added PR benefit of association).

    The later claim of being solar powered seems like a reasonable target for a one shift operation at the current scale. Obviously there are a lot of ways to measure it...but it's a reasonable goal to produce enough power to run the plant in real time under optimal conditions and come close to zero net power from the grid.

    The video of gleaming Tesla red robots moving against clean white powered by nothing but the sun on the roof is pretty striking. As PV prices have fallen it's gotten to be a better value. Since Tesla is profitable and doing great in the markets finding a willing investor is easier.

    Of course it's also a high profile/value project for Solar City.

    Announcing the supercharger network as fully Solar Powered was an effective approach even though it's possible for critics to quibble about the details, the same applies to the Tesla Plant. The project can hit reasonable markers for being full solar power...and that's a worthwhile story.
     
  2. CalDreamin

    CalDreamin Member

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    Is there any news about getting the rooftops of the Tesla Factory in Fremont covered in solar panels?

    Hyundai covered the rooftops of one of their factories with 10 MW of solar panels.
    South-Koreas largest rooftop solar installation (10 MW) to be built on a Hyundai factory : TreeHugger

    GM has a 12 MW rooftop solar system at one of their factories in Spain, and a total of 33 MW of solar covering 7 GM facilities.
    Fueled by the Sun | GM.com

    C'mon Tesla, don't let the ICE industry lead on rooftop solar at their factories! :smile:

    Solar City does large commercial projects....
    Client Portfolio - Retail Solar Installations and Customer Case Studies
     
  3. GlennAlanBerry

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    #3 GlennAlanBerry, Aug 18, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
    SpaceX already has a relatively small 35Kw solar PV system from Solar City, so you would think it would make sense for Tesla to have Solar City install a large solar PV system on their roof in Fremont. I imagine Elon Musk knows who to talk to on both sides... :)
     
  4. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Perhaps there is some city / county ordinance or structural consideration preventing it.
     
  5. CalDreamin

    CalDreamin Member

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    Could be. But there's strong support for cleantech businesses and solar in Fremont. I'd expect that local politicians would be clamoring to have their photos taken with Elon at the ribbon cutting ceremony for one of the world's biggest rooftop solar installations. If an unreasonable ordinance is standing in the way, I'm guessing that Tesla could get that fixed.
     
  6. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    I suspect any ordinance or local regulation in the way could be quickly amended if Tesla/Solar City was ready to do this. A year ago I would have suggested it might be a stretch to get investors who would risk Tesla being a long enough term electric customer but given the recent waves of Tesla success it should be pretty straightforward to get an investor around silicon valley who'd like the deal, especially sharing in the positive publicity.

    The GM Zaragoza Spain plant that's currently the world's largest installation has a nominal output of 11.8 Mw which seems within reach given the area of the Tesla plant. There's also a lot of parking lot surface if they wanted to add solar shade structures.

    As Tesla expands production at the plant it's electric demand will likely exceed any possible solar electric output from rooftop and lot PV but they currently occupy only a fraction of the area and there's probably a window during which operations there could be effectively solar powered.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Very likely, but there still might be a structural problem. Not saying there is but that there could be.
     
  8. tander

    tander Member

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    Up until recently Tesla didn't have the credit rating to do a project with Solar City. Expect that factory to be covered in solar soon.
     
  9. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    I doubt it in California. There are laws that I know of that prevent any city to from blocking permits for residential solar installs. Prolly same for commercial/industrial.
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    There is a solar array in front of the building. :0
     
  11. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Member

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    I have worked as a Solar Power Inspector for the past three years. In that capacity, it has been my responsibility to analyze the production capacity of solar systems. Back in the 80's I had the opportunity to work at the NUMMI plant as an industrial electrician.

    The plant is enormous, with an incredible amount of roof space, and parking lot spot space. Talk about blank canvas. An absolute phenomenal amount of solar could be installed. More than that it could done in a style architecturally befitting Tesla Motors brand and good taste.

    This is an amazing opportunity.
     
  12. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    Part of the opportunity is that usually this sort of project doesn't get very much attention, but with Tesla it clicks so well with the core mission of the company, the fact that Musk is also chairman of Solar City, and the possibility that the installation could be big enough to by some reasonable standard make the factory "fully solar powered" that it has the potential to be very valuable publicity for Tesla, Solar City and the Investor (paying for it and under the Solar City model benefitting from tax credits and selling the electricity to Tesla on a long term contract). Tesla has already successfully made it's factory a centerpiece of the company image and the investment made in appearance and design detail has paid off well.

    If the project is completed before the gen III production line is built there's a much better chance of hitting a goal of "fully solar powered". Just as with the superchargers, that goal is just about meeting reasonable assumptions, it's not about going off the grid or always hitting zero net grid electric consumption.
     
  13. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Member

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    tesla_red_flag_primary_150.jpg

    I am imagining a rooftop of black solar panels, with the Tesla emblem and word tesla whited out. The logo and the word Tesla could be filled with lights. Considering the flight patterns of the airports throughout the bay area, it would be an awesome advertisement. During the day, (Whited out), and during the night lit up.
     
  14. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    They would probably get hit by the haters for light pollution. ;0
     
  15. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Member

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    Controllable with a switch.
     
  16. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Deliberately beaming light into the sky? Yep, I hate.
     
  17. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    While it certainly can't hurt to install solar on the roof of Tesla's Fremont factory, it's unlikely to match Tesla's total electricity consumption. Just imagine the load requirement to charge several hundred battery packs per day, not to mention the heavy electric machinery inside the plant.
     
  18. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Member

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    Lighting is as much an art as a science. It can be as subtle as it can "beaming into the sky".
     
  19. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    No matter the consumption, there would definitely be a payback. I suspect it has already been analized internally, and prioritized. It is simply a matter of resource allocation, and picking the right priorities is critical to a growing company.

    We may think they are sitting on a wad of cash, but they have some important investments to make over the next few years.
     
  20. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    I've been wishing I had a suitable roof for solar panel installation (I really don't).

    The Tesla Factory has one hell of a suitable roof.

    If they can get financing, I have no doubt it would pay for itself. Better, even: the factory operates mostly during the day, so the solar panels would reduce *peak* load and flatten Tesla's electricity consumption curve.
     

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