Tesla Giga Berlin Expansion Gets Green Light from Environmental Authorities

Tesla’s plans to expand Giga Berlin have taken a significant step forward. The Brandenburg State Office for the Environment has granted the automaker the necessary approvals to proceed with the expansion of the factory.

According to a report from the German publication rbb, the approval allows Tesla to start several key construction activities. These include the creation of an asphalted logistics area for new vehicles, the installation of stairwells on the pressing plant, and the establishment of an access guard.

Additionally, Tesla plans to construct underground lines and install rooftop solar panels, further integrating renewable energy into its production process.

This expansion is part of Tesla’s plans to double the plant’s capacity, aiming to produce up to 1 million vehicles per year and increase its battery production to 100 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually.

Despite the positive development with the government backing the expansion, Tesla’s plans have not been without controversy. Environmentalists and local groups have voiced concerns about the potential impact on the region’s water supply, given that the factory is located in a drinking water protection area. These concerns have been a recurring theme, with Tesla’s original construction of the factory facing similar opposition, even though this theory has been debunked.

The approval does not however include permissions for further forest clearing activities, which are necessary for Tesla’s plan to build a railway station within the complex. These activities remain a point of contention, as environmental activists have previously protested against Tesla’s operations in the area.

Interestingly, the approval for the current site expansion may result in fewer protests. By focusing on expanding the existing factory site without additional forest clearing, Tesla might mitigate some of the environmental concerns that have fueled past protests. This strategic approach could help smooth relations with local communities and environmental advocates.

The positive approval forecast issued by the Brandenburg State Environmental Agency allows Tesla to start construction work early, albeit at its own risk. This allows Tesla to move ahead with its expansion plans while awaiting the official building permit, something which it also did with the original construction of Giga Berlin.

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