How much electricity does a factory use

Factory in Grünheide - Tesla could use as much electricity as Chemnitz

Production with green electricity, solar panels on the roof. The planned Tesla factory makes the hearts of many climate protectors beat faster. But how much electricity does the factory really need? And where does it come from?

The American carmaker Tesla states in the approval documents that its planned factory in Grünheide will need 109 megawatts of electricity. If one assumes a 24-hour three-shift operation, one comes to an annual consumption of almost 1,000 gigawatt hours.

The city of Chemnitz also needs about as much. If Tesla expands the factory later, the factory could even use twice as much electricity.

Tesla has also announced that it will build solar panels on the factory roof. However, they are not part of the current approval process and could therefore only be built later.

Feasible challenge

Two network operators are responsible for supplying the plant: 50Hertz operates the so-called transmission network in eastern Germany and Hamburg. Electricity is transported over long distances in this way. In the Neuenhagen substation, for example, the electricity for Tesla could be diverted into the local distribution network of the Edis company. Edis could then transport the electricity via masts still to be built to the plant in Grünheide, 15 kilometers away. However, these plans are not final.

Edis has announced that the Tesla settlement will be a major challenge. But the company is confident that it will not only be able to supply the finished factory, but also the construction site with sufficient electricity.

Electricity only partially from renewable sources

It was said again and again that Tesla would produce exclusively with electricity from renewable sources. That will not be possible, at least at the start of production in the coming year. While part of the electricity for Tesla is expected to come from wind farms in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg Western Pomerania and the Baltic Sea, another part will be provided by the coal-fired power plants in Lusatia.

50Hertz has announced that only a good half of its electricity comes from renewable energy sources. To change that, more wind turbines and solar systems would have to be built and coal-fired power plants would have to be switched off. A climate economist from Viadriana University in Frankfurt (Oder) estimates that Tesla will only be able to work exclusively with renewable electricity in Grünheide by 2030 at the earliest.

Broadcast: Antenne Brandenburg, March 11th, 2020, 4:10 p.m.

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