Tesla Chooses Site Near Reno for Battery "Gigafactory"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tesla Motors has chosen Nevada as the site for a massive, $5 billion "Gigafactory" that will pump out batteries for a new generation of electric cars, a person familiar with the company's plans said Wednesday. Scott Budman reports. (Published Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014)

    Tesla Motors has chosen Nevada as the site for a massive, $5 billion “Gigafactory” that will pump out batteries for a new generation of electric cars, a person familiar with the company's plans said Wednesday.

    The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made, said work would soon resume at an industrial park outside Reno.

    Four other states – California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico – were vying for the project, and the estimated 6,500 jobs it will bring.

    Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval's office said only that the governor would make a ``major economic development announcement'' Thursday afternoon. A spokesman for Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, said company representatives would be at the Capitol for the announcement but offered no other details.

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    Tesla has done site-preparation work at the Reno Tahoe Industrial Center but had not publicly committed to building in Nevada, instead asking other states to put together their best packages of economic incentives.

    CEO Elon Musk said he would prepare two sites, in case one falls through.

    The person familiar with Tesla's plans told The Associated Press that a second site would still be prepared, in case Nevada is not able to deliver the incentives it has promised -- or possibly to build a second factory.

    Jim Wunderman, CEO of the Bay Area Council, a business group that was fighting to bring the factory to California, said in a statement he “knew Tesla would make its decision based on factors that contribute to the success of the company.”

    “We continue to believe California can be the central place for Tesla’s growth,” Wunderman continued, “and think there will be many future opportunities to see that happen.   Specifically, with this decision we recognize the prospects for the development of a robust supply chain between Reno and Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont which can support businesses old and new along that corridor, which includes the Sacramento and San Joaquin regions.”

    Lance Gilman, principal and director of the Reno Tahoe Industrial Center 15 miles east of Reno, told the Associated Press on Wednesday afternoon he had not been told of the decision.

    ``It would be the most exciting news of the century to me,'' he said.