First Look: Photos emerge on-site at Tesla Gigafactory 1
Although there have been numerous instances of renegade drones capturing video footage of the Tesla Gigafactory, press access to the site has been limited. In October, staff from the Reno Gazette Journal were found trespassing on the property attempting to take pictures of the Gigafactory. Now let's fast forward... yesterday these new, mysterious (and beautiful) photographs of the Tesla Gigafactory just emerged from "Electric Avenue" via Instagram courtesy of photographer* James Lipman.
According to Lipman's descriptions of the photos, Tesla is: “Building the largest lithium-ion battery factory in the world - 5.5m sq ft Tesla Gigafactory 1 at Sparks, NV. The building can be extended in order to allow increases in production. By 2020, total planned floor space is 13.6 million square feet.” Lipman refers to the design aesthetic of the Gigafactory (see above) as “hypermodern” — we hope he'll reveal more photos of the interior soon. The other photos were taken outdoors at the Gigafactory site, according to Lipman, in which he explains, "The site totals 3000 acres and will run entirely on renewable energy. By 2020, the factory structure will be the second largest building in the world.” According to his website, Lipman is a commercial and editorial automotive photographer, based in England. His work has appeared in Top Gear, Car magazine, Evo magazine and others. Hmmmm... he also lists Tesla Motors as a recent client.
Tesla Gigafactory was also in the news this past week after the Las Vegas Review Journal reported the day before Christmas that, "Independent auditors concluded Tesla Motors Inc. met all conditions for tax abatements and credits... The audit by accounting firm Grant Thornton calculated Tesla has earned $9.6 million in transferable tax credits for the period Oct. 17, 2014, through June 30. Tesla, in partnership with Panasonic Corp., is building a $5 billion lithium battery factory east of Reno in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center... state lawmakers last year approved $1.3 billion in tax abatements and other incentives. Included in the abatement package is $195 million in tax credits, made available as spending and hiring benchmarks are met, that the company can sell to other companies to reduce their own tax liabilities to the state. Tax credits are available in the amount of $12,500 for each qualified employee hired. At least 50 percent of employees must be Nevada residents. The audit said the residency and a minimum average wage of $22 per hour were met 'without exception.’”
And, it appears the Gigafactory is bustling with activity as Tesla Motors ramps up construction efforts: "During the reporting period, 1,348 construction workers were on the site and 68 percent were Nevada residents, the audit said.”