Tesla has chosen Reno, Nevada as the site for its $5 billion factory to supply lithium batteries for its electric cars, beating out competitors including Arizona.
A story today by Dorothy Kosich at Mineweb.com quotes John Boyd, a principal of the site selection firm The Boyd Company, as telling the Wall Street Journal, “I think the single most important factor is
the [site’s] low-cost green power, including solar, wind and geothermal
energy for the plant. He also cited Nevada’s lack of corporate and
personal income taxes as positive factors."
Arizona may have sent mixed messages on this front, offering tax breaks and other incentives, but with concurrent debates at the Arizona Corporation Commission over continuing utility subsidies for solar power, and proposals to roll back the requirement for utilities to provide 15% of their electrical power from renewable energy resources.
Dorothy also points out that "Nevada currently is home to the only brine lithium operation in the
United States. Rockwood Lithium, which produces lithium carbonate from
brines near Silver Peak, Nevada, has invested $75 million in an
expansion of its U.S. lithium production. Pure Energy Minerals holds
contiguous claims near the Silver Peak operation." She notes that Western Lithium’s King Valley project is often promoted thusly: “Nevada
is uniquely positioned to support the world-wide increase in renewable
energy production and demand for electric vehicles through lithium
mining—the key ingredients to the high-performance batteries, which will
power electric vehicles and be used in utility-scale energy storage
How much did Nevada's support for producing the minerals needed for manufacturing batteries play into Tesla's decision?