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Tesla Expands Gigafactory Land

Tesla purchased about 1,550 additional acres in the Nevada desert.

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Tesla’s Gigafactory site is expanding. In April and May, Tesla purchased about 1,550 additional acres in the Nevada desert for a buffer zone that might contain solar arrays, according to Treehugger.

The company purchased about 1,000 acres in 2013, claiming the land for its $5 billion electric car and battery plant. In a video posted on July 6, Dean Haymore, director of building and community development in Storey County, Nev., said that Tesla purchased another 1,200 acres connected to the Gigafactory site, and is likely to purchase an additional 350 acres. That brings the size of the site to almost 3,000 acres.

According to The Wall Street Journal, 1,863 acres of Tesla’s total land in the factory complex is buffer space, with just 110 acres marked for industrial purposes. Tesla could potentially place solar panels on the buffer land in order to provide electricity to the plant.

The Gigafactory is part of the Reno Tahoe Industrial Center, a massive (107,000 acre) industrial park under development outside of Reno, Nev. Construction on the factory is ongoing, with the steel structure and roof currently in place.

The Gigafactory is expected to begin producing batteries in late 2016, continuing to grow until 2020. Tesla anticipates that the factory will enable it to produce more electric cars (500,000 per year) as well as batteries appropriate for use in homes, businesses, and utilities.

While Tesla won’t be the largest employer in the complex (at least data center operator Switch will have many more employees), Haymore said that the car company made a significant impact because of its place in the public eye.

“What happened with Tesla is … we never realized the impact of the announcement of Tesla,” he said. “Tesla validated the state of Nevada as high-tech new engineering instead of just logistics and things like that.”