Tesla is clashing with government officials in Germany again over a project on the grounds of Giga Berlin. The EV maker plans to install an array of solar panels over the factory’s parking spaces but is being met by bureaucratic red tape.
Authorities from the Oder-Spree district stopped the construction work earlier this week. The reason was Tesla put 104 stakes on the site without approval. Officially, Tesla needed approval before setting up the stakes, which are concrete and one meter long. This is because the project is situated in a water protection area.
While the German publication that reported the work stoppage, golem.de, first assumed this particular project required approval, the district authorities have said it assumes the piles will not likely interfere with groundwater quality in the area.
Tesla contended with multiple hurdles while constructing the factory, particularly on water and the local fauna. It slogged through several delayed permits before finally getting the green light to open the factory last March.
The company’s application to expand the plant last year was approved in December.
Some residents are in support of the most recent work stoppage. A representative of the Association for Nature and Landscape in Brandenburg commented, “It is confirmed that the monitoring of the construction site in the water area is completely inadequate, and Tesla can apparently do what it wants. It was a political mistake to set up the factory in the water protection area.”
Another organization, the Water Association of Strausberg-Erkner, also praised authorities for stepping in. “We are pleased that the competent authority has now stopped the illegal construction work due to the undeniable facts.”
Tesla, however, continues to ramp up hiring at the German factory. Last December, it was producing 3,000 Model Y per week.
You can watch a recent drone flyover of Giga Berlin which shows this solar parking lot project at the 0:40 mark.