Tesla Gigafactory Site Down To California or Nevada

Tahoe Reno Industrial Center

Green Tech Media says it not only knows what state the long rumored Tesla Gigafactory will be built in but knows the actual address as well. If you want to send a personal note to Elon Musk, mail it to Reno Tahoe Industrial Center, 2641 Portofino Drive, Reno, Nevada 89434. Their source, Bob Tregilius, recently took a hike in the nearby mountains and saw 50 earth movers hard at work on a site he estimates is large enough to accommodate the 10 million square feet needed for the planned Gigafactory.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that a permit to move 140,000 cubic yards of dirt was issued to the Industrial Center on May 22. That’s enough dirt to build a wall 63 feet high by 100 yards long, but it still isn’t enough for the entire Gigafactory.

With up to 6,500 good paying jobs on the line, every state would like to win the Gigafactory sweepstakes. At present, both Texas and Nevada are rumored to be the front runners, but Arizona and New Mexico may still be under consideration as well.

Musk is playing his cards close to the vest in all this. He has hinted numerous times that he may begin site development work in two or maybe even three states simultaneously so that when the final decision is made, precious time will not be lost to preliminary site work. Starting work in two states is not that unusual, says Dennis Donovan, a principal with another New Jersey-based site selection firm, Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting. But starting work at three sites definitely is. Donovan told the Post-Gazette;

I think it’s just a matter of Tesla saving time on the development process once it picks a site. (The concurrent development) is actually not that bad for those communities even if the company goes somewhere else because the site infrastructure will be valuable for other prospective tenants.

Yet recent developments have cast doubts on Nevada’s Gigafactory bid. Construction recently came to a halt, with the site reportedly closed “indefinitely”. This follows news that Tesla is reportedly considering a site in California, the former Concord Naval Weapons Station which doubles as a Federal Superfund site. That’s to say, it needs a major environmental cleanup…something that would be a great project for a green automaker to undertake, and likely give them access to Federal funding as well.

Elon Musk has said he want construction on his Gigafactory to begin in 2014, but there’s still no definitive answer on site location.

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.