The electric automaker unveiled a new $1 billion solar power plant Wednesday that will be capable of generating enough power to power more than 10,000 homes, more than 20 million people and generate enough energy to power about 1 million cars.
Tesla is using a solar thermal system that uses a heat pump to transfer heat from the sun’s surface to a large heat storage tank that stores it.
Tesla said it has built the plant, which is in the middle of its California Solar Thermal Plant project, at a cost of about $1,200 per megawatt hour of electricity, or about $13 per megaflop.
The solar thermal plant will be a major step toward Tesla’s goal of powering the entire world with electricity from renewable sources.
It will be the second such solar thermal power plant to be built in the United States after the California Solar Energy Authority installed one in 2012.
Tesla says the solar thermal facility is also one of the largest solar thermal plants ever constructed in the U.S. and is expected to provide more than $1 million in revenue annually.
The project also has the added benefit of cutting down on carbon emissions, according to a statement from Tesla.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the new plant will have an energy efficiency of 10.3 percent, which compares favorably with the efficiency of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Solar thermal is a technology that uses heat to capture and store the heat from sunlight.
Tesla says it can also provide more energy by concentrating the solar heat in a larger heat storage system, which can then be pumped back to the sun for use.
Tesla has been testing solar thermal technology on rooftops in California, but this is the first time the company has deployed it on a large scale.
Tesla has been using solar thermal for a number of years to power its power grid, but it has only recently begun to install large-scale solar PV plants.
The company said it expects to complete the first large-size solar PV plant by the end of 2020, although it hasn’t announced a date for the completion of that project.
Tesla plans to use the solar power facility to power the company’s existing battery storage, which the company says can help store up to 20 percent of the power the grid needs to function.
It said the company is also considering developing a new storage battery system that could potentially be used to power Tesla’s energy storage battery pack.
Tesla’s solar thermal installation in California began in June and was completed in October.
Tesla said it is using about 7,000 solar panels on the project to heat the energy storage system.