Groundbreaking For Tesla Giga Factory Already Underway In Nevada?


Yesterday, Plug In America posted the following on its Facebook page:

“Has Tesla broke ground in Reno for the Gigafactory? Plug In America Show host and Reno resident, Bob Tregilus, thinks so.”

The image above was provided by Bob Tregilus, who says that some 50 earth movers were working away on a recent Sunday at the site outside of Reno, Nevada.

As Greentech Media tells Tregilus’ story:

“Yesterday, our unnamed source (Bob Tregilus) hiked a few high-desert ridges in Storey County, Nevada to take pictures of 50 earthmovers moving earth at a site that Tregilus estimated to be large enough to accommodate the proposed 10-million-square-foot factory. Tregilus has also heard whispers about a secret project from construction industry folks and locals.”

Giga Factory rendering

Giga Factory rendering By Tesla

The site shown in the above image has a name and even an address:

  • Reno Tahoe Industrial Center at 2641 Portofino Drive

The Reno-Gazette Journal reported last month:

“An excavation permit to begin site work for a sizable project has been pulled by the Reno Tahoe Industrial Center (TRI), but those involved in the project are under a non-disclosure agreement preventing them from discussing what may be eventually built on the sagebrush covered site.”

“The “clear and grub” permit for 2641 Portofino Drive allows the contractor to move 140,000 cubic yards of dirt in preparation for the unnamed project. The permit was pulled on May 22. Work was slated to begin on May 19 and conclude in November.”

The Reno-Gazette Journal spoke with Lance Gilman, the industrial center principal and its director of marketing.  Gilman stated:

“I am the man sitting in the chair that puts the transactions together.  And I can tell you, I do not have a signed transaction with Tesla.”

However, Gilman admitted that work is often done before a contract is ever signed and adds that the site at 2641 Portofino Drive is under a non-disclosure agreement, meaning that Gilman wouldn’t be able to reveal (and possibly doesn’t even know) if Tesla is linked to the site.  Per Gilman on non-disclosures and secrecy:

“We worked with Walmart for a year and a half before they told us who they were.”

Finally, a spokeperson for the Nevada Environmental Protection Division says she’s unaware of what the site is being prepped for, adding:

“The permit allows them to move dirt around and begin prepping for construction.  We don’t know what it is.”

Three permits have been pulled for the site:

  • Air quality
  • Storm water
  • Excavation

So, what’s this site being prepped for?  Some say a pizza factory.  Others insist it’s Tesla’s battery giga factory.  Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Nevada Gigafactory Site? (Photo via Bob Tregilus)

Nevada Gigafactory Site? (Photo via Bob Tregilus)

Source: GreenTech Media

Image: Bob Tregilus

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

43 Comments on "Groundbreaking For Tesla Giga Factory Already Underway In Nevada?"

newest oldest most voted

definitely a pizza factory.

Annex to Area 51. High level of UFO activity lately.

Reminds me of the pictures George Bush showed to UN before invading Iraq. Just show some random pics, and convince the believers that it’s some nuclear station.

Nobody is going to die from this speculation.

Hopefully, the 20th century automotive industry will mark this as a nail in their coffin.

I remember the UN inspection groups in Iraq and there statements before the invasion how there were absolutely no weapons of mass destruction and how the US had been able to just point and pick places they wanted inspected.
If the US were a less powerful country a lof of people in charge at that time would be in front of the international criminal court.

A giga pizza factory.

Let’s hope it’s a pizza factory.

The world could definitely do with more pizzas :/

Seriously. Especially those made in a factory. To heck with fresh locally made pizza (which can be made and cooked in 30 minutes!).

If Tesla ever makes pizza in their gigafactory, it might actually be worth trying 🙂

Well one thing is for certain – it will go fast 😉

Yeah, but they will cost $80.

Yeah but with sustainable cheese.

Coal powerplants generate the electricity that heats and lights the barns where Tesla’s pizza cheese is made. That means that Tesla pizzas are just as bad for the environment as normal pizza. Libtards! Benghazi!!!

That’s just a tired old pizza myth. Nationwide only 30% of the power for pizza ovens comes from coal fired plants.

Anyway, in Nevada there is plenty of sun for solar powered pizza ovens!

I think it gets hot enough in Nevada, you don’t even need an oven. Just put it on rock for 25 minutes.


I lost it on that post, Mr. Hansen. Well done.

Great thread! +1 to all of you!

Agreed. Thanks all for the laughs! 😀

But at least this is hi-tech pizza! No traditional gas guzzler ovens are to be found in Tesla Motors’ pizza factory. Their ovens use only frickin’ infrared lasers!

I don’t know if I want oil-free pizza.

That’s what they said about cars too.

Tesla said that they will start breaking the ground on several locations even before they decide where the first gigafactory will actually be build. And Reno, Nevada was one location mentioned.

My own guess was that the first gigafactory will be build in Reno as it seemed the most obvious choice from the candidates, because it is close to Fremont and outside California.

Amazon distribution center.

You can never have too many…

Hmmm, permit to move 140000 cubic yards? assuming 1.5ft depth, that’s only 280000 square yards (~57 acres). That doesn’t sound like it’s big enough for the gigafactory (~230 acres). Hope dashed. *sigh*

257 miles from Freemont, CA.

A Tesla Model S could just make it on a single charge 🙂

With over 4,000 feet in elevation drop from Reno to Fremont, you probably wouldn’t even have to range-charge a Model S to make it. The other direction would be another story…

A new Waltmart?

What is more interesting and eye-opening about this article is not the speculation, but the permit process. So I could just walk in, and get a permit to remove 140k tons of wilderness, and then move on? What the hell? These officials’ responses make no sense to me.

Anyway, back to the headline…the location looks eerily familiar to the conceptual rendering of the gigafactory from Tesla. It also makes sense to build it in Nevada since it is handy to both Freemont and the Li mines.

Au contraire, Tom Art. Tesla’s rendering was based on a photo of Reno Stead Airport. That’s certainly no guarantee of fruition there, of course.

Supercharger for Truckee, CA has been permitted, so in a couple of months Freemont to gigafactory is taken care of.

11290 Donner Pass Rd

Perfect name for a road…wonder how they generate the electricity there…

Damn…the 1894 is part of my username for another site, totally unrelated to EVs…sorry for the confusion…it’s still me…

You shouldn’t advertise the year you were born…:)

Site looks far too small. It does have rail access though, which is in the GF renderings and can be expected to bring in materials and ship out packs to Fremont, which has rail right to the plant.

On balance I’m pretty sure this is not the GF.

However, thinking out loud, the GF concept may change. Tesla may decide to go virtual, in a sense, have several mini GF “modules” that operate in coordination from a logistics point of view, especially if they are closely spaced and connected by rail. A kind of GF cluster. There would be some cost duplication but also some advantages for scaling, risk mitigation, multiple state incentives, and a bigger geographic footprint for lobby purposes.

Good points Alonso.

I had to check, and the rail line does go directly southwest to the Bay area through Sacramento and on to a few junctions that can route easily to the Fremont rail yard.

All that means is that whatever is going in there will have a cheap route to supply the Bay Area. The Bay Area consumes lots of things though, even pizza.

I still think the site is too small, but it certainly is a plausible location.

Maybe they will do many mini-pizza factories, therefore less of a need for giga size ones.

I wonder if there is rail, there is an easy way to run an electric powered commuter train from Fremont through Reno to the factory that would run on a schedule.

It can haul batteries that are charged and power the train, plus people between the various plants for work. The end result, it doesn’t need a Giga-sized (expensive) parking lot.