Batteries

Published on September 10th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

90

Tesla Gigafactory Could Produce 20% More Electricity Than It Needs

September 10th, 2014 by  

GAS2.

gigafactory_aerial

Last week an area outside of Reno, Nevada was chosen as the site of the first Tesla battery Gigafactory. In addition to bringing 6,500 much-needed jobs and a cutting-edge manufacturing facility to Nevada, Elon Musk has also promised to power the Gigafactory using only its own, green energy sources. Can it be done, and if so, how?

It is no small task to power a facility as huge as the Gigafactory, which is said to cover 929,000 square meters and about a thousand acres of land, and over at Engineering.com Tom Lombardo ran some calculations to see just how much power the Gigafactory would need. Based on a Navigant Research study, Lombardo estimates the Gigafactory could consume as much as 2,400 MWh each day if it’s running at full-tilt (that is to say, 500,000 battery packs per year). That’s enough energy to power 80,000 average American homes. Where the hell is Elon Musk going to get all that power?

Well Lombardo goes on to say that if 850,000 square-meters were covered in efficient solar panels (from, say, Solar City?), that alone would generate about 850 MWh of energy per day, about ⅓ of what’s needed. The official Gigafactory picture also included about 85 windmills on the hills in the background, and despite the Reno area not been particularly friendly to wind farms, a setup of similar size would generate about 1,836 MWh of energy, which puts the Gigafactory well past its 2,400 MWh needs. Musk also said geothermal energy could play a role, and a small 10 Mw facility could produce 240 MWh of usable energy each day. All told, the Gigafactory could actually produce 20% more energy than it needs on a daily basis.

The catch, of course, is storing that energy; solar power will be non-existent at night, and on calm days wind energy will be hard to rely on. Given that the Gigafactory can make a half-million battery packs per year though, they’ll probably be able to come up with some pretty effective storage solutions, and at an affordable cost.

Those arguing that Tesla is more than just a car maker may have a point, as the Gigafactory could set a new standard when it comes to the definition of what makes a factory green, and what’s just greenwashing.

Source: GAS2. Reposted with permission.





Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , ,


About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Howard Roark

    You do realize that 850,000 square meters is over 200 acres that’s bigger than most farms in Ohio.

  • eveee

    Every one of those batteries will be charged at least partially. There will be grid connection, too. That means a lot if energy, and a lot of batteries connected to the grid. Estimates of energy use could be way different than a conventional facility.

  • Wayne Williamson

    Maybe those closer to whats going on can tell me if this is true. US Today had in their announcement that Tesla had agreed to purchase x amount of electricity from the local utility….
    I was hoping it was the other way around and the local utility would have to purchase extra energy produced from the the roof top solar on the factory….

  • “The catch, of course, is storing that energy; solar power will be non-existent at night, and on calm days wind energy will be hard to rely on.”

    Geothermal Energy is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s always on.

    Instead of a small 10 MW Geothermal Energy facility Musk can put his (or rather the Nevada taxpayers’) money where his mouth is and invest in a larger plant. Northern Nevada has one of the world’s leading geothermal resource.

  • Mike Shurtleff

    This is great! I look forward to the opening and operation of this factory. I’m tired of listening to old dogs of the power grid industry say things like: “Yes, but you can’t run large manufacturing using intermittent solar and wind.” Of course you can. It will be nice to have a large example to point to. I bet they save money doing it too.
    Kinda like being able to point to the Tesla Roadster and say: “You think all EVs are wimpy and underpowered golf carts? Think again.”

  • Roger Pham

    This sets a good example of a microgrid using entirely Renewable Energy (RE) of solar, wind and some geothermal with battery storage. In locations with cloudy winters, (not in Nevada) a Nat Gas generator that can provide both power and heat would complete the picture and can double the utilization efficiency of NG.

    New housing developments can follow the above example of a MicroGrid, thereby saving on new capital expenses of upgrading the expensive central grid to handle new loads. The houses will have extensive of South-Facing roof, all lined with solar PV right from the start during roofing construction, thereby great savings on solar PV installation costs. The two above savings, plus the use of DC grid instead of AC would further save on DC to AC then to DC conversion losses and costs, or the three savings, plus the double efficiency of NG utilization in winters, or the 4 cost-saving measures… will make RE far cheaper than grid-base electricity.

    Cost is not the only advantage, reliability is another…freedom from blackout or brownout. Reliability is in itself worth a lot of money: high profit margins for utility companies wanting to take on new MicroGrid development.

    • Offgridman

      The reliability factor is one that is hard to find a value for, but with no outages in the eight year use of my offgrid system compared to the neighbors 2-4 times per year in the same period it is something that I never want to give up on.
      I have also noticed that with the stable AC supply from my microgrid I have never had a TV, computer or etc go bad from a burned out power supply which used to happen when still reliant on the grid.

      • Roger Pham

        Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve had my share of frustration with the Grid, including equipment damage and major annoyances from frequent power outages.

        • Moohamed

          every time wind blows the power flickers, the only reason I even knotice is from the street lights, inside steady stable power at a perfect 120V, the never having to worry part is priceles in my books

  • Joseph Dubeau
  • Omega Centauri

    Maybe the energy storage can be battery inventory undergoing testing to be sure its reliable enough for sale. Thenany modules that fail QA, but can still be nursed into providing stationary storage utility can be kept inhouse.

    • djr417

      If solar is their primary source or power- how much storage would they need? Would a plant like this typically run 24hrs a day? If its only run in daylight hours- that would mitigate alot of the storage needed.
      And is this plant going to be off-grid? or is it more likely to be grid connected, and produce more power than it needs on a yearly basis. Using the grid when it cant produce enough on its own, selling excess when it can.

      • Omega Centauri

        In order to amortize the cost of capital I think they will run it as close to 24/7 as possible. I also expect them to be on the grid. They probably face capacity charges, so overnight usage probably effects their net costs, -also the capacity of the grid connection to handle peak power flows in or out, which is related to capacity charges.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Certainly on the grid.

          Capacity charges makes it more advantageous to add storage on their side of the meter. And, remember, Tesla will be able to purchase storage for prices lower than wholesale.

  • Brokelyn

    This should set the new standard for factories around the world.
    How much non-renewable energy is used to produce the lithium and other materials transported to the factory for assembly?

    • lvogt

      Transportation, material and labor costs apply to every kind of production and the energy required for each aspect can come from any source.

  • Mike333

    Tesla is associated with First Solar.
    That’d probably be where they get the solar farm from.

  • Conor Raypholtz

    to be fair its still a battery factory and as such it can never be green. at least not with the chemicals and materials they use currently. on a per watt basis they may be neutral at best even with an additional 20%, but as I said that doesn’t make there pollution 0.

    • Mike333

      Those batteries will displace a fossil fuel solution, that 1000% dirtier, and 90% more expensive.

    • if the alternative were riding a bike, they wouldn’t be green, but the alternative for many people is driving via burnt oil. batteries are **much** greener than that.

      • jeffhre

        Zach a thought exercise. A Kobe beef eating bike rider decides to ride a new, tricked out, high tech, exotic alloy and carbon fiber $10,000 dollar bike to work. To eliminate the daily commute with pedal power. His neighbor similarly, drives his four year old, previously owned EV to work after supplying it with electrons from a five year old solar array.

        Considering the energy debts of the car and solar panels are now paid off. And that the expensive bike (more cost = higher use of energy inputs) ride, requires nightly inputs of more Kobe beef!

        Which one is the theoretically “greener” solution.

    • Mike Shurtleff

      Perfect should not be the enemy of better.

    • Moohamed

      you are ignoring that allot of that chemical waste can be re-used add infanitume with a well designed production system

      Ands even for the streams that can not still cleaner by the nature it gets rid of ICE vehicles!

  • spec9

    That’s the way to do it . . . just overbuild a bit to cover net energy needs.

    Tesla is a very modern company but it is using an 19th century technique to prosper . . . vertical integration. Build your own batteries, generate your own power, make much of your own parts, own your own showrooms . .. they cut out a lot of middlemen.

    • francesmacomber

      And open-sourcing their schematics to make it easier for other companies to adopt their proprietary technology is one of the smartest moves they could have made.

    • Mike Shurtleff

      If the battery industry is not going to build enough batteries for the cars you’re going to build, then what else can you do? Listen to Elon Musk speak some time. He talks about solving the problems that are there. More power to them if they make money doing it.

    • EnTill

      I am expecting them to start mining their own lithium after the gigafactory

    • jeffhre

      Panasonic is making the cells. There are materials suppliers and component suppliers linked to the Tesla factory. Even generating the power, will likely rely on PPA’s, even though much of the generation could be onsite.

      Making battery packs from supplier content may give them internal control over the most critical EV component – the battery packs. Having suppliers at their location fits with JIT manufacturing more than it does with vertical integration principles.

  • Ronald Brakels

    I’m pretty sure the Tesla factory would be more than 929 square meters. That would be a square building 101 feet to a side which doesn’t really sound like it deserves the title megafactory. But what do I know? Maybe they’re planning on making it really really compact. Also, I thought that the geothermal part might be limited to heating and cooling, or in Nevada mostly cooling, but it turns out that Nevada has plenty of geothermal capacity. (And to think, there are Americans who think switching over to renewables is going to be difficult.)

    • Philip W

      Yeah the article is missing 3 zeros 🙂 929.000 square meters sounds much better.

    • Conor Raypholtz

      they are also not using very efficient solar panels. labs are well above 50% the article is maybe using 15% efficiency. granted the panels produced max out around 15% because nobody wants to invest in a new factory.

      • Mike333

        20-22% panels are on the market now.
        I’ve yet to see a panel about 22 percent.

      • Ronald Brakels

        Or maybe they’re just buying American. America does have a reputation for producing 15% efficient solar panels. We have some here in Australia.

        • Ronald Brakels

          Mike333 has mentioned that Tesla is associated with First Solar and that the solar panel manufacturer I’m talking about.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            Musk is on the board of Solar City.
            First Solar has 22% efficient solar panels.

            Hey Ronald,
            Speak on solar panels, whats the story on these 3D printable panels from Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium.

          • Mike Shurtleff

            “First Solar has 22% efficient solar panels.”
            Care to back that up with a reference? I don’t think it’s correct.

          • Mike Shurtleff

            I don’t think First Solar is at 15% yet. I think their CdTe PV is at about 14% so far. Their CdTe is lower cost per Wp than 20% efficiency cSi PV. Make for very low cost/kWh in large installations. The comparison is much tighter between FS CdTe PV and other mSi PV. Will be interesting to see if they can keep ahead in that game.
            How is First Solar associated with Tesla? (Mother’s brother’s cousin’s almost college room mate?) You mean associated with SolarCity? Elon Musk was a primary initiator of Tesla, SolarCity and Spacex.

            First Solar now owns cSi startup TetraSun:
            “http://www.pv-tech.org/news/first_solar_to_manufacture_new_crystalline_silicon_line_from_end_of_2014 – August 2013
            “First Solar to manufacture new crystalline silicon line from end of 2014” “First Solar will start a 100MW manufacturing line for crystalline silicon cells for the residential distributed market from the end of next year with production scaling from 2015, it was revealed yesterday.”
            “Tetrasun has achieved a third party confirmed efficiency of 21.4% [see slide 2] with its n-type silicon cells and aims to achieve these efficiencies again when the 100MW capacity production starts in the last quarter of 2014. Metal fingers and busbars are copper-plated reducing metallisation costs to $0.01/Wp as opposed to costly silver paste.”

            It will be interesting to see where they go with this.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Aug 5, 2014

            “First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced it has set a world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) research cell conversion efficiency, achieving 21.0 percent efficiency certified at the Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab.”

            http://investor.firstsolar.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=864426

            Of course that’s not made it to production, just an indication of where FS might be taking their product over time.

          • Mike Shurtleff

            Thanks, had not seen that one. Maybe that’s where FS is going to take this. They’ve certainly been meeting efficiency and cost milestones over the last couple of years.

          • Ronald Brakels

            I have read that First Solar has a 22% efficient panel but I don’t know what sort it is. Their CdTe PV is seems to be about 11.8-13.1% efficient at the moment around here, but that may not be their best CdTe panels they make. As for how Tesla is associate with First Solar, I don’t know. I’m guessing they’re not. Mike said they were, but I think he meant Solar City.

          • Mike Shurtleff

            I haven’t seen 22% myself. You’re an honest commenter, I wonder if the information you saw was correct?

            Yes, about14% is their top production line efficiency, here:
            http://www.pv-tech.org/news/has_first_solar_retaken_the_lowest_cost_pv_manufacturer_mantle
            “First Solar hits cost reduction milestone” – November 2013
            “ ‘We are now flash-testing modules at our Perrysburg facility with the conversion efficiency of 14.1%,’ noted Hughes.”
            “First Solar also said that in October, 2013 it’s lead production line averaged module efficiencies of 13.9% and expected all lines to reach 13.9%, over the next few quarters.”

            Sorry, just trying to keep that Tesla/First Solar mis-information from perpetuating. Bad information can lead to confusion.

          • Joseph Dubeau

            Musk and SolarCity not First Solar.
            SolarCity installs and leases.

          • jeffhre

            SC bought Silevo.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Looks like I got confused. Joseph points out below that they had a 20.9% efficient cell in the lab, but that’s not what I was thinking of and I can’t find where I read about the 22% efficient panel. Normally I wouldn’t be so worried about making a mistake like this, but I thought I read about it yesterday and I can’t find it again. Looks like I have to lay off the sauce. All that chocolate sauce I’ve been drinking lately is clearly clouding my mind. Thank you for pointing out I was incorrect/losing my mind.

          • Mike Shurtleff

            Maybe this will help you get a piece of your sanity back. I found a Tesla link through SolarCity to Silevo and they have 22% efficient PV panels:
            http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/silevos-new-cell-and-module-architectures-break-solar-barriers – June 2013
            “Silevo’s New Cell and Module Architecture Breaks Solar Barriers”
            “SunPower (SPWR) and Panasonic (PCRFY) are the high-efficiency module makers Silevo is competing with, Thurlow acknowledged, and ‘because neither has a product on the market today using a 156-millimeter cell,’ he said, ‘they have been viewed as niche players.’ ” “ ‘The top efficiency of our 96-cell X series panel, which is commercially available today, was recently confirmed by NREL at 21.7 percent and generates 345 watts-peak,’ SunPower Module Group General Manager David DeGraaff said.” “Panasonic’s best modules are close to the 20 percent mark in efficiency.”

            “96-cell X series panel”

            “confirmed by NREL at 21.7 percent and generates 345 watts-peak”

          • Mike Shurtleff

            SolarCity to Silevo link:

            http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/solarcity-acquire-solar-manufacturer-silevo-200-million-solar-gigafactories.html – June 2014
            “SolarCity acquires solar manufacturer Silevo for $200 million, plans multiple solar ‘Gigafactories’ “

            http://www.pv-tech.org/news/solarcity_expects_silevo_1gw_fab_to_cost_up_to_us450_million – August 2014
            “SolarCity expects Silevo 1GW fab to cost up to US$450 million”

            http://www.pv-tech.org/news/solarcity_changes_terms_of_silevo_deal “SolarCity
            changes terms of Silevo deal” – September 2014
            “Silevo investor’s would share in US$50 million earn-outs related to production milestone.“
            “1. Silevo completes a new research and development production facility in the US that is capable of volume production with target efficiency requirements.”
            “2. Silevo achieves both volume production with target efficiency requirements an at the R&D facility, while also completing and commissioning its first 1GW facility.”
            “3. Silevo achieves volume production with target cost and efficiency requirements from the 1GW facility, all before December 31, 2017.”
            “SolarCity noted that it had agreed to fund Silevo’s planned capacity expansions according to the revised plans, while all three phases of the earn-outs were now fixed.“

          • Ronald Brakels

            Ah, thank you! So it was SolarCity that had the 22% efficient panel. I was confused, but at least I wasn’t dreaming.

          • eveee

            Yeah, but just in case, switch to vanilla sauce to see if the haze clears. It may increase PV efficiency.

          • Moohamed

            Single cells can be rated to 22% but as a combined modual to make a panel the net efficiency tapers to the average of the 15+% mark due to conducter losses.

            Perhaps this is the miss understanding?

          • Mike Shurtleff

            Moohamed,
            No, that is not right. Typically you lose only 1% or 2% efficiency in the translation from cell efficiency to panel efficiency. Thanks for the thought though. Think I found the source of confusion though. See other comment. I’ll put up momentarily.

          • Joseph Dubeau
          • Ronald Brakels

            Thanks for that.

      • Doug Cutler

        50% efficiency solar PV is NASA grade and hugely expensive on a per watt basis.

        • RobS

          Yep only makes sense to put 40%+ efficient panels on spacecraft where the cost of any alternative like hydrogen for a fuel cell is measured in the millions of dollars per kwh once getting it up there is taken into account.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Well, NASA doesn’t actually put high efficiency solar cells on spacecraft. The nature of the work NASA does means they have to rely on old technology that has proven itself reliable over the long term in space. Sure they’d be improving the solar cell technology they use, but they are still far behind the current curve. Building spacecraft is by necessity a very primitive process that uses outmoded but known to be reliable technology since the costs of failure are so high. Still, they do some amazing work under difficult contraints.

          • Doug Cutler

            Interesting.

          • RobS

            They don’t go with the bleeding edge that hasn’t got any reliability testing under its belt but they go with better than what you get in a Solar City prepackaged home system.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Spectrolab cells are what NASA typically use or used. The ISS solar array wings, the first pair of which were installed in 2000, are each about 408 square meters and produce about 32.8 kilowatts making them about 8% efficient in practice, but another figure I have says they were 14% efficient when new. While space is a harsh environment I don’t think they have degraded down to 8%, rather I think they are limited by what the electrical system will accept and there is a very wide safety margin with regard to how much degradation and damage that the arrays can suffer and still provide adequate power to the station.

        • Mike Shurtleff

          There is no 50% efficiency solar PV. …not yet. Try 44% efficiency.

          • Doug Cutler

            Right you are. Make that 50% PV is NASA dream grade.

        • eveee

          That has to be a compound type with ga as. Single cell efficiencies are lower.

      • Omega Centauri

        The best cost point is 15-18%. Those low 40’s are very pricey multi-junction cells, that need hundreds of times normal solar irradience (concentrated) to produce that sort of efficiency.

      • Mike Shurtleff

        There are no 50% panels. There are multi-layer PV cells that are over 44% here:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaics#mediaviewer/File:Best_Research-Cell_Efficiencies.png

        Multi-layer PV cells are expensive and are generally only used in CPV (Concentrator PV) systems.

        Sunpower makes silicon PV panels with more than 20%, here: efficiency:http://www.pv-tech.org/news/sunpower_lifts_lid_on_new_record_21.5_efficient_x_series_solar_modules – April 2013
        “SunPower lifts lid on new record 21.5% efficient X-Series solar modules”
        “SunPower has made its new record performance modules available in the US today and across Europe in May.” “The newly dubbed ‘X-Series’ modules come with SunPower’s latest ‘Maxeon Gen 3’ solar cell technology, which has conversion efficiencies of over 24%.”
        “SunPower previously held the record high-performance module with its E-Series range that used its Gen 2 solar cells to enable module efficiencies above 20%. The E-Series was first launched in June 2011 at Intersolar Europe.”

        …and here:
        http://cleantechnica.com/2014/02/18/cost-of-solar-pv/ “Cost Of Solar PV Continues To Plummet” – February 2014
        “And there will be further lift in efficiencies – the new manufacturing plant (known as Fab 4) will enable SunPower to drive higher cell efficiencies, and it plans to produce its first 23% X-Series panel by the end of 2015.”

        Other manufactures of crystalline Silicon PV panels produce panels at or close to 20%. In general they are closing in 20% at low-cost (<50c/Wp) in the near future, i.e. a few years. (Lab record for Crystalline Si is now 25.6% recently set by Panasonic. See same wiki chart referenced above.)

        Multi-crystalline PV manufactures are close to 15% (16%? or 17%?) but they too are improving their energy conversion efficiency and still lowering costs per peak Watt (Wp).

        New factories are being built. Production lines in older factories are being upgraded. There is reason to believe there will be an increase in the rate of production upgrades this year and next.

      • jeffhre

        SC is investing in a new factory in Buffalo NY.

    • jeffhre

      “(And to think, there are Americans who think switching over to renewables is going to be difficult.)” That is at least 40% of the problem!

  • Philip W

    If other manufactures realize that powering such a huge facility completely with reneweable energy is actually feasible, they will hopefully do the same. After all they can save humongous amounts of energy cost like that.

    • Conor Raypholtz

      you replace it with maintenance costs and a upfront cost, they will never save money from this its just good pr.

      • Mike333

        What maintenance? cutting the grass?
        Factories, in the real world, would save a fortune Not buying power at Peak Usage Pricing, the plant will generate a Profit for almost any business.

        • Will E

          not only business
          communities and cities can do the same and make clean energy profit for the inhabitants

        • Joseph Dubeau

          The sheep will keep the grass cut.

          • Moohamed

            and as a side benifit they fertilize it and every spring I get a free lam roast! Solar cells produce bulk of my power, and nothing gives me a bigger smile then turning on every light when the power goes out! I’m not quite allt he way there yet but geting closeto siting back enjoying a drink as so called society imploads under their own self distructive idjitcy

      • Ronald Brakels

        Conor, the cost of industrial electricity in Nevada is apparently 7.61 cents a kilowatt-hour. My relatives in Queensland recently installed solar that will produce electricty at under 10 US cents a kilowatt-hour using a 5% discount rate. The cost of capital in the United States is low and I’m pretty sure Elon Musk can get solar installed at a lower cost per watt than my family. So I’m thinking that by the time the factory is built they can beat 7.61 cents for solar and wind is already under 4 cents a kilowatt-hour in the US. So unless the price of electricity in Nevada drops I think they’re likely to come out ahead.

        • Nick Lyons

          You have to consider:
          1. storage cost–this could easily double the per kWhr cost
          2. capital cost, amortized over the relatively short life of solar and (especially) wind and, of course, your depreciating batteries
          3. operational cost–wind turbines are mechanical devices that require service and wear out in 20 years if you are lucky

          What is the *real* life cycle cost compared to (say) nuclear? compared to CCGT?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Wind turbines have very low operating/maintenance costs.

            We are just now replacing the 30 year old turbines at Altamont Pass wind farm. We should expect newer technology to last longer.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if the source of your “wear out in 20 years” claim comes from the turbines now being replaced in Europe. They are being replaced because good wind sites are somewhat limited and it makes financial sense to take down those 15 – 20 year old turbines and replace them with taller/larger swept area turbines, getting far more electricity form the same resource.

            Those removed turbines are being refurbished and sold on to a second productive career in countries where have more land available.

            The *real* life cycle cost compared to nuclear? New nuclear in the US will cost more than 11 cents per kWh. That’s with a fairly large taxpayer subsidy. Operating costs will be about 1c/kWh.

            Want to assume a 60 year lifespan? (Something that has not been demonstrated.) Start with 12+ cents during the 20 year pay off period. Divide by 3. 4+ cents plus 1 for O&M = 5+ cents.

            Onshore wind in the US now costs 4c/kWh. That includes O&M over the 20 year PPA. So 20 years at 4c + 20 years at 1c. 3 cents.

            Of course we’ve got 60 years of nuclear and only 40 of wind. If we’re going to play these back up envelop games that far into the future then 120 years of nuclear @ 5c/kWh and 120 years of wind @ 3c/kWh.

            Nuclear subsidized by loan guarantees and taxpayer assumption of liability. Wind not subsidized.

          • Jouni Valkonen

            Bob, indeed… although Finland has exellent and steady wind resources on the shores of Gulf of Bothnia, the wind power industry is in miserable shape here. There were few promising start-ups, but total lack of government support killed those for good.

            Most of the wind turbines here, until recently, were indeed those old one German windmills that had rated power around one MW.

            I actually pondered that why on Earth they are importing old wind turbines from Germany!

            But this indeed is the likely explanation for they mystery of windmills that had only 15 years old service life.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Nick, I know this is Nevada we’re talking about, but I am pretty sure they have grid electricity there. I mean, aren’t they celebrating 30 Glorious Years of Electricity next month? And let’s just say for some reason Tesla wanted to install battery storage and stay off grid. It’s a freaking battery megafactory! I think if anyone can install cheap storage it’s going to be Tesla.

            Nick, here in Australia point of use solar is far cheaper than either coal or natural gas. It is cheaper than any form of utility scale generation, that includes coal, gas, or whatever. New wind here is about 4 US cents a kilowatt-hour (5% discount rate) and appears to be considerably cheaper in the United States. The cost of new nuclear is apparently about 15 cents a kilowatt-hour before insurance according to Hinkley C or 11 cents according to Bob, but he is a crazy nuclear fan boy. (1 cent O&M my fetid dingo kidney.)

          • Bob_Wallace

            EIA sets O&M for nuclear at 2.3c. Wind at 1.3c and solar at 1.1c.

            http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

            The Nuclear Energy Institute set production costs at 2.4c in 2012.

            http://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/Costs-Fuel,-Operation,-Waste-Disposal-Life-Cycle/US-Electricity-Production-Costs-and-Components

            So, yeah, open up the wind/solar vs. nuclear spread by another penny or so.

          • Ronald Brakels

            If I was capable of expressing human emotion you know I’d have put a smiley face there. But while I don’t do human emotion, here’s a profile shot of Mister Squiggle to make up for it:
            –*

          • Bob_Wallace

            Don’t they put you on the deviant list for doing stuff like that in AU?

          • Ronald Brakels

            No, I don’t think so. I mean there was a furore in the papers over accusations made against Mister Squiggle a little while back, but nothing seems to have come of it. The attempt by the navy to tow his moon rocket out to sea went nowhere and appears to have been the result of a bureaucratic bungle where they regarded his rocketship as being a ship and therefore they classified him as a boat person and made arrangements to place him in a concentration camp on Naru. But Mister Squiggle has long held dual citizenship and is a citizen of both the moon and Australia. I wouldn’t be surprised if the recent lack of information on the matter is the result of an out of court settlement.

          • Ronald Brakels

            And yesterday the Australian Supreme Court (the court with the most delicious toppings) declared that the government issuing tempory visas to refugees so they can’t apply for permanent visas was a load of fetid dingo kidneys. Also, the government can’t lock people up for longer than it takes to actually apply for a permanent visa. And that’s the time it takes for reals and not until Tony has a few spare moments to look over the applications in a couple of years. So it looks like Mr Squiggles is in the clear – on this count at least. (Other dark legal clouds are looming on his horizon, but the accusations are far too grim to go into here.)

          • Moohamed

            No one knows the life for sure of a solar cell as ones made back in the 60s still function. wind is a bit more problomatic depending on the design, most problomatic are dc turbines, ac much less so.

            So how about you learn your facts from people who actualy use this stuff rather then the con websites?

            Solar next to zero costs once don, providing it is designed well (I’ll assum tesla will take the time to design a system)

            Battery, same thing near zero cost, aside from the odd defective cell, (gee I wounder where they could find a replacement!)

            BMS systems rarely fail, and most batteries are murdered and rarely die.

      • Mike Shurtleff

        Actually, all they need is generate power when the sun shines and they’ll save on AC and factory operation costs. Ronald is correct, the roof of that building is going to be like a prepared solar farm site. Installation costs, typically much higher than panel costs now, will be much lower than normal. This is going to be very low cost solar power. They’ll save.

        • Bob_Wallace

          They could roof the parking lot with panels and call it an employee perk, being able to park in the shade in Nevada.

          • Mike Shurtleff

            🙂 Yep and it would be too. Let’s see, give me just a little of that juice from over the car and I can call up my car and ask it to start the ac before I leave to go home at the end of the day.

        • jeffhre

          Designing the facility with solar in mind from the beginning will save (millions?) in installation, tie ins and connections, conduits, inspections and permitting, testing and structural/racking costs over a equivalent retrofit at this scale.

      • jeffhre

        That’s not how it works, it’s the financing arrangements and cost of capital that matter. The power supply system could even be owned by a third party, offsetting anything taken from the IOU. And lowering their peak power pricing as well as providing for their energy needs and replacing TOU costs.

      • Raw and Cooked Vegan

        And like the typical naysayer you have not put a monetary value on destroying the planet as fossil fuels do. At this time solar is cheaper over time when compared with fossil fuels. It will only improve with the cost of batteries and panels declining. Please see the big picture.

Back to Top ↑