The frontrunner appears to be the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, which is about 20 miles east of Reno proper and includes warehousing sites for Walmart, Dell and Petsmart, Transport Evolved says. Compared to other states in the running, Nevada has the advantages of lower taxes, lots of cheap real estate and some lithium-mining capabilities, while the specific site has very good highway and rail access. There's also already a li-ion company there, Dragonfly Energy.
Feeding that belief is the sight of about 50 earthmoving trucks recently spotted at that site, says ValueWalk, Greentech Media and Jalopnik, in addition to Transport Evolved. But then we heard that the site had been shut down. Nobody involved is giving any clues, but the site is plenty big enough for a $5 billion, 10-million-square-foot plant that would support about 6,500 jobs.
Meanwhile, Tesla may also be considering the former Concord Naval Weapons Station about 35 miles northeast of San Francisco and 45 miles north of Tesla's Fremont headquarters, says KTVU, the NBC affiliate for the San Francisco Bay Area. The problem is that's a Superfund site in need of some remediation. But that sort of cleaning project could be a good fit for a company focused on "clean" energy. Tesla is, of course, declining to comment.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said early last month that it was in "quite advanced" stages of planning for the plant, or perhaps two plants, and that the company was meeting on a daily basis with partner and battery-supplier Panasonic. The company is expected to officially announce the location of the Gigafactory later this year, and it could be up and running by the end of 2016.