According to a recent interview with the mayor of Grünheide, Germany, Tesla’s Giga Berlin factory could soon begin actual construction. Specifically, this comes as reports are out that the tree-felling efforts at the site are complete.
Clearing efforts at Giga Berlin previously faced headwinds
The Grünheide facility (now known as “Giga Berlin”) will become the Fremont automaker’s first European Gigafactory. The 300-hectare facility is currently in the tree-clearing phase, which is quite an elaborate undertaking. This mainly relates to the fact that the Giga Berlin site is a greenfield development.
Specifically, the forest-clearing phase has run into trouble with German environmental groups. It would seem that these are not aware that the forest at the Grünheide site is not a natural forest. Moreover, they are also raising concerns over the ground water usage of the upcoming plant.
If this was not enough, authorities recently found WW2 era bombs at the site. These could potentially have an adverse environmental impact, but are now entirely gone after defusing efforts.
Giga Berlin tree-clearing completes ahead of deadline
These hibernating bats, along with nesting birds, were creating a deadline for Tesla at the Giga Berlin site. If Tesla wasn’t able to clear the forest before mid-March, the project would risk a roughly 9-month delay as not to disturb the animals’ home.
Now, however, reports are out that the Giga Berlin tree-clearing is complete. The following video shows the final efforts clearing the site. This means that Tesla is on track towards soon beginning construction of the actual facility.
Giga Berlin groundbreaking ceremony on March 19th?
Giga Berlin will undoubtedly have big shoes to fill. The Gigafactory is the first to be built following the impressive build-out of Giga Shanghai. Although observers note that the German factory will take longer to construct than Giga Shanghai, it is nonetheless progressing rapidly.
According to Christiani, the earliest possible date for the groundbreaking ceremony would be March 19th. The reason for this is that a mandatory discussion on objections by citizens against the project will take place on March 18th.
Tesla’s European Gigafactory will produce 500,000 vehicles per year
The deadline for citizens to raise objections against the project is on March 5th. “It could be that the groundbreaking ceremony will take place at the end of March,” Christiani said, referring to possible objections that may come in the way.
However, Christiani was ultimately bullish on the whole project, which will employ roughly 12,000 people during its Phase 1. Although he said Tesla has not gotten any “special treatment” in the approval process, “all relevant bodies” have reportedly given positive forecasts for it.
Christiani also shot down the complaint that Giga Berlin will use an excessive amount of groundwater. “There will be enough water,” Christiani said.
First of all, the fuss about Giga Berlin’s forest-clearing is basically much ado about nothing. Tesla has said that the company will plant three times as many trees as it is cutting down. Moreover, the forest in question is not a natural forest.
Rather, the forest at the site is a cardboard forest. This means that the woods in the relevant area were always meant to be an element in industrial production. The clearing work involves clearing roughly 92 hectares of this cardboard forest east of Berlin, in the federal Brandenburg state.
Following Tesla’s deforestation, the company will not only grow a three-times bigger forest, but also a more diverse one.
Moreover, Musk has said that Giga Berlin will not use the massive amounts of energy spoken about. Rather, he highlights that Giga Berlin’s official water usage number reflects a “rare peak usage case”.