Environmental approval granted for Giga Berlin
Brandenburg’s Minister President Dietmar Woidke has now handed Tesla the final environmental permit for Giga Berlin in Grünheide. The permit states that production can only start when Tesla fulfils the conditions set out in a 536-page document.
News of the granting of the permit had already been leaked last week by the German newspaper Handelsblatt. Now, government representatives have confirmed the approval and given Tesla the document with the required steps before production.
Woidke announced the granting of the permit at the State Chancellery in Potsdam along with together with Brandenburg’s Environment Minister Axel Vogel, Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach, and Ulrich Stock, who heads the State Office for the Environment (LfU).
Woidke told journalists that the Tesla task force had handed over the environmental permit when they met for the 27th time on Friday. The notice of approval document is comprised of 66 files. These 23,000 pages now contain more than 400 requirements and conditions for operation. “Even if it sounds a lot at first, this is not extraordinary,” Vogel said. “From the size of the plant arises the necessity of having to lay down a great many conditions.” He added that one did not let public attention rush the process. “It couldn’t be done any faster.”
As an example of the conditions that would have to be met before the plant could be put into operation, LfU department head Stock said that air purity would have to be proven. For this purpose, measuring devices would have to be installed, which would be checked during an acceptance test. Tesla had targeted two weeks for the corresponding work and the submission of the plans, which would still allow sufficient time for planned date of the opening ceremony on 22 or 23 March.
The Brandenburg Minister of Economic Affairs Steinbach thanked Tesla’s representatives for their cooperation over the last two years, two months and two weeks since the first application was submitted back in December 2019. He noted that the gigafactory had put Brandenburg on the map for many companies, and there had been many other enquiries from the renewable energy sector. He said that the approval is “not an end point, but an intermediate step in the further development”.
Woidke emphasised just how important the plant is for the Brandenburg region. He said he thought people will look back on this time “as the time before Tesla and a time with Tesla.” He said: “We will only see in a few years or decades how significant this step really was.”
While everything seems clear in the state chancellery, another hurdle is possibly looming elsewhere. The Strausberg-Erkner water board has announced that it will have to terminate the supply contract with Tesla if it does not get a water law permit. “If we lose the permit quantities for the Eggersdorf water supply tomorrow, then of course the next step for us is that we will have to terminate the supply contract with Tesla because the quantities are no longer available,” WSE spokesperson Sandra Ponesky told the German Press Agency (DPA) on Thursday.
The Administrative Court of Frankfurt (Oder) is currently hearing the lawsuit filed by the environmental associations Grüne Liga and Nabu against the issuance of a water law permit from the State Office for the Environment (LfU), which also concerns the gigafactory.
Reporting by Sebastian Schaal from livestream press conference, teslarati.com