SpaceX expanding solar farm at Boca Chica, Texas launch facility


SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

Michael Sheetz | CNBC

SpaceX is expanding the solar farm at its Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, based on documents obtained by CNBC from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The FWS paperwork, often known as a draft organic convention and opinion (BCO), reveal that SpaceX is growing the dimensions of its on-site solar farm by 1.7 acres, or about 30%, making the solar array a complete of seven.1 acres. The firm has begun clearing and leveling for development at the positioning already.

Elon Musk‘s house firm already makes use of solar panels and massive batteries at the South Texas vertical launch facility to offer electrical energy for day-to-day operations. It additionally operates a pure fuel energy plant in Boca Chica.

As of late 2021, the solar farm there coated 5.4 acres and equipped roughly 1 MW of energy, with a 3.87 MW-hour battery for vitality storage based on the BCO.

The growth underway, with development anticipated to happen over two years in all, would add 750 kilowatts of energy for a complete of 1.6 MWs of vitality, and an extra battery system enabling as much as 8 MW-hours of storage, the paperwork stated.

They additionally point out that SpaceX is utilizing panels made by Chinese producers Trina Solar at the launch facility somewhat than photovoltaics produced by Tesla, the electrical automobile and vitality enterprise additionally led by Musk.

The batteries for the solar farm are Tesla’s Power Pack vitality storage techniques, nonetheless, that are geared for companies and utilities. Tesla additionally gives a residential battery, the Powerwall, and a grid-scale vitality storage system known as the Megapack.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, with a Powerpack unit the background unveils go well with of batteries for properties, companies, and utilities.

Getty Images

During the first quarter of 2022, a document quarter for Tesla total, the corporate’s vitality division was greater than 10% within the crimson, with income of $616 million (and value of income at $688 million).

Tesla’s solar deployments dropped by almost half to 48 MW versus the identical interval in 2021. But the battery enterprise made up for a few of that. Tesla deployed 846 MWh of lithium ion based mostly battery vitality storage techniques within the first three months of 2022, up 90% from the identical interval a 12 months earlier.

Collaboration between Elon Musk’s companies is not new, however has elevated barely over time by the numbers.

As CNBC beforehand reported, SpaceX shares not solely a CEO but additionally board members previous and current with Tesla. In 2020, SpaceX purchased around $4 million value of vitality techniques, elements, elements and companies from Tesla, together with labor.