Tesla approves purchase contract for European Gigafactory, just outside of Berlin

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From pv magazine Germany

Tesla has approved a purchase agreement for the approximately 700-acre property on which the U.S. company’s first gigafactory in Europe is to be built, following the approval of the finance committee of the Brandenburg state parliament.

Progress for the proposed factory has made a decisive step forward, Brandenburg government spokesman Florian Engels said on Sunday.

The property is located near Berlin, right off the motorway, and is being sold by the state forestry company. The contract currently provides for a purchase price of approximately $45 million, a figure determined internally in an expert report. However, a second independent report has been commissioned and the result should be available at the end of this month.

The state of Brandenburg has already initiated the environmental impact assessment for the project, with a decision expected in the spring. In addition, according to the state government, the area is being examined for unexploded U.S. ordnance from World War II.

Over the weekend, there were demonstrations by supporters as well as opponents of the planned Gigafactory plans in the town of Grünheide. According to media reports, the opponents are not against the establishment of the plant in principle, but are concerned that it will be built in a designated drinking water protection area. They also criticize the speed with which the plans for construction are being approved.

Tesla plans to produce up to 500,000 EVs comprised of the Model 3, the Model Y and future models at its Grünheide location. The Californian carmaker plans to officially start up operations in mid-2021. At least 6,000 jobs are to be created in the plant, and another 4,000 jobs could be added as part of an expansion.