Tesla begins construction on world’s largest solar rooftop
Installation for what could become the world’s largest solar rooftop has begun at Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.
The US-based electric vehicle and solar firm announced in January plans to install 70MW of solar panels on to the rooftop of its battery cells, which it develops with Panasonic, and energy storage plant.
If the firm complete their goal, the roof will be the largest solar roof installation in the world.
“GF1 is an all-electric factory with no fossil fuels (natural gas or petroleum) directly consumed. We will be using 100% sustainable energy through a combination of a 70 MW solar rooftop array and solar ground installations,” Tesla commented in January.
“The solar rooftop array is ~7x larger than the largest rooftop solar system installed today.”
Tesla set a target of generating 35GWh of energy in 2018, and increased its workload to meet the goal – the company aims to hire 10,000 employees in the 21.mn square foot building by 2020.
Helix Electric, the American construction and engineering company, were responsible for the electrical installation of Gigafactory 1.
“This is a very unique project and there aren’t many projects of this magnitude being built across the country,” remarked Victor Fuchs, Nevada President of Helix Electric.
“These are big numbers, but we are used to working on million-plus square feet projects.”
Tesla also operates its Gigafactory two – located near Buffalo, New York – which produces solar products and is powered by hydropower.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.