The U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology has approved a new permit for the construction of the world’s largest battery factory, a move that could bolster the electric vehicle maker’s hopes to compete with rivals like Apple and Google.
Tesla said on Tuesday that the permit will go to the state of California and its governor, Jerry Brown, for consideration.
It was unclear if the company would seek approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which could delay the process.
The plant is expected to be built on 1.4 million acres in the northern California desert, where Tesla has no plants or any other significant manufacturing activity.
It would be the largest battery facility in the world and the second largest in the United States.
It has been under development since 2012 and has been plagued by delays and cost overruns.
Tesla has faced criticism for not having a more robust supply chain.
Earlier this year, Tesla lost $3 billion on a stock buyback program that began in January 2016, according to the company.
The company has also been plagued with problems, including an ongoing legal dispute with the state.
Tesla, the world No. 3 auto maker, has been battling rising costs for batteries and has said it would cut production of its Model S electric sedan by more than 40% by 2021, according the Wall Street Report.
The state of Nevada is expected next year to approve a permit for Tesla to build a $5.4 billion factory to produce lithium ion batteries for the Tesla Semi and Model X electric cars.
It is expected the state’s approval could accelerate the construction.
The California permit, which the state said it expected to issue “very soon,” would be Tesla’s largest to date.
Tesla would need approval from nine other states to build the plant, according Tesla.
The permit comes amid the broader industry turmoil in the U.K. as manufacturers struggle to find enough batteries to compete against electric cars from rivals such as Apple and Alphabet Inc. Alphabet has said its self-driving car program is on track to surpass 200,000 vehicles by 2021.