Tesla can continue with the production ramp-up at Giga Berlin as planned. According to media reports, the Strausberg-Erkner Water Association (WSE) will not terminate the supply contract as threatened in the meantime.
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As the Berliner Zeitung writes, there was a meeting on Wednesday afternoon between WSE boss André Bähler and the head of water at the Brandenburg Ministry of the Environment, Anke Herrmann. At the “crisis meeting in the Potsdam state chancellery”, they apparently agreed that the utility would be allowed to pump 1.3 million cubic metres more than previously tolerated in the event of a water shortage.
Tesla had received the final environmental permit for the factory in Grünheide on 4 March. On the same day, the Administrative Court of Frankfurt (Oder) ruled that the water law permit issued in 2020 was “unlawful and unenforceable”. The procedure had to be repeated with the involvement of the public. The WSE demanded that the state tolerate water pumping until the procedure was made up for. The toleration from last week, however, only covered 2.5 million cubic metres – now it is 3.8 million cubic metres.
As Henry Pilz, the chairman of the association’s assembly indicated after the meeting, the WSE will withdraw the resolution requesting the contract termination. With this commitment, the WSE will not only be able to supply Tesla with water, but also other new customers. In other words, the 16 municipalities between Strausberg and Erkner can once again build flats and attract new businesses. “The development freeze will be lifted by the WSE,” says Pilz. “But it must be clear to everyone that there can’t be one in the future.”
Tesla plans to open Giga Berlin next Tuesday in the presence of Elon Musk, at which time it will also hand over the first 30 Model Y Performance units to customers. According to the Twitter user SawyerMerritt, who is usually well-informed about Tesla, the 30 vehicles were already produced in Grünheide on Tuesday.
Update 19 March 2022
The Strausberg-Erkner Water Association (WSE) has now confirmed in a press release what had already been leaked in advance: Since the State Office for the Environment tolerates a higher water extraction, the supply of the region – including the Tesla factory – is secured for the time being. “With the toleration issued by the State Office for the Environment on the evening of 16 March 2022, the consequences of the ruling of 4 March 2022 for the Eggersdorf water intake have now been averted for the time being and the basis for supplying the Tesla factory has thus been restored. […] Thanks to the mediation of the State Chancellery and the Brandenburg Ministry of Economics, an acquiescence amounting to around 3.8 million m³/a was agreed with the State Office for the Environment, enabling the association to provide drinking water for the population and the first expansion stage of Tesla for the year 2022,” the statement reads.
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