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Tesla Incentives Merit Special Session, More Tesla News

Nevada Legislators Will Hammer Out Details Of Tesla Deal In Special Session

Lawmakers meet in Carson City Wednesdayfor a special session that will determine the specifics of the state’s deal with Tesla Motors. The session was called because incentives promised by Gov. Brian Sandoval to win the battery plant -- $1.3 billion, one of the largest tax-incentive packagesin U.S. history – require the approval of the legislature.

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Among the concerns likely to be raised by lawmakers is whether or not the company will be required to hire Nevada workers, and at what wages. As many as 4,000 construction workers are expected to be hired for the project.

Some lawmakers have also wondered whether the Washoe County infrastructure and school system can withstand the influx of new residents that will result from basing the battery plant in Reno.

“Certainly, there will be pressure on schools and real estate in the Dayton area but Washoe County is also going to have to deal with the schools,” said Assemblyman David Bozien of Reno. “Certainly my concern is that we have, time and time again, failed to deal with challenges that we have in front of us."

Las Vegas Democrat Tick Segerblom says he will vote to approve the Tesla deal but told the Las Vegas Sun “Without raising taxes, Washoe County is going to suffer.”

The special session may last only a day. Estimates put the cost of the special session at $60,000 for the first day, and $25,000 per day if the session goes beyond that.

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Reno Tesla Plant To Run On Renewables

The Tesla Gigafactory in Reno will be powered by renewables including solar, wind and geothermal, generating 20% more energy than needed to run the plant.

“It will produce all the energy it needs," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said. "So it'll be sort of a self-contained factory."

It’s not just the use of renewables that distinguish the plant as environmentally-friendly. Even the diamond shape of the building was chosen because it works better with the surrounding terrain so less dirt will have to be removed to build it.

Today in Computerworld, writer Lucas Mearian notes that many Fortune 500 companies have clean energy goals, and benefit financially from using renewables:

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More than half of Fortune 100 companies collectively saved more than $1.1B annually by reducing carbon emissions and rolling out renewable energy projects over the past year, according to a recent report titled " Power Forward 2.0." Collectively, 43% of Fortune 500 companies, or 215 in all, have also set targets in one of three categories: greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy. When narrowed to just the Fortune 100, 60% of the companies have set the same clean energy goals.

Does Tesla Mean Reno Gets More Starbucks?

Last weekend, Forbes contributor Micheline Maynard wrote about what Reno can expect as Tesla begins building. She notes that the incentive package awaiting the Nevada legislature’s stamp of approval includes $100 million for new roads – “You can probably expect that Elon Musk Parkway signs will be in the works,” says Maynard.

Also, although Reno already has its share of hotels and restaurants, there’s not many located near the site of the future battery plant. Maynard expects national chains to buy land around the site:

Georgetown had a single McDonald's when Toyota first opened there almost 30 years ago. Now, you can find every fast food franchise you can name, a Starbucks and multiple hotel properties lining the two exits to the plant.

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