DEVELOPING: Reno Locals Claim Workers Laid Off At Top-Secret Site Believed To Be Tesla Gigafactory Site

Yesterday, we brought you news that groundworks at a top-secret site allegedly being developed as Tesla’s first Gigafactory battery processing facility was under way in Reno, NV. After hiring what appears to be large numbers of workers to carry out ground work at the Taho-Reno Industrial Centre, work on the site has reportedly been running seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.

What’s more, said Reno local Bob Tregilus, there was little doubt among people working there that the new project was part of a ‘big battery factory project’ and that the end client was none other than Tesla Motors (TSLA).

Sources in Reno tell us workers have been laid off from this suspected Telsa Gigafactory site -- but why?

Sources in Reno tell us workers have been laid off from this suspected Telsa Gigafactory site — but why?

But overnight we’ve received reports from multiple sources in Reno claiming that the site has been either temporarily or indefinitely closed, and the workers laid off.

One woman, who commented to our original story and posted a similar message on her personal Facebook page, says Tesla is the client behind the site.

My husband, nephew and a couple friends were all working on that project 12hour days 7 days a week for the last month on it,” she told us in an email earlier today.  “All the people I know who were working on the project were let go today. I truly wish it wasn’t true, we need those jobs.”

Sources in Reno tell us that it was known that the site was operating behind schedule, alleging that the contractor missed all of the “major milestones” set in place by the unconfirmed client. While this alone does not confirm the validity of the story, the unconfirmed reports of a mass worker layoff does seem plausible if the contractor lost their contract due to being behind schedule.

 

Earlier this week, work was continuing around the clock at the site, but today says Bob Tregilus, the site is almost deserted.

Earlier this week, work was continuing around the clock at the site, but today says Bob Tregilus, the site is almost deserted.

“There will be some busy work while all the contractors wrap up their books and move equipment, but my hubby says there are now signs on the gate that say “Closed Indefinitely,” our source said. “It was common knowledge among the workers that Tesla was behind the project in some shape or form.”

On hearing the developing news, our correspondent Bob Tregilus went back out to the supposed Gigafactory site at 1am local time to see if he could substantiate the story further. Unlike his last night-time visit where the site was fully illuminated and work was continuing through the night, this time he found a dark, quiet site. In fact, he tells us, the only light he saw was from the lone security guard who turned on his vehicle’s lights as Tregilus approached.  Due to the low light levels, Tregilus was unable to confirm the presence of any “closed” signs on the gate.

At this point — especially being early morning local time — we’ve been unable to substantiate this story any further and so must reiterate that it is for now just a rumor. However, we’re working hard clarify the story and of course, we’ve reached out to the relevant bodies for comment.

We’ll be discussing the story further on Today’s Transport Evolved News Panel Show, so be sure to tune in live at 5pm BST for the latest developments in this intriguing story.

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Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield
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Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

Self-confessed geek and mother of two, Nikki has been talking and writing about cars ever since she passed her driving test. Back then, her Internet contributions were all classic car-focused. Now, she’s all about greener, cleaner, safer and smarter cars.
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  • Tom Villars

    “Sources in Reno tell us that it was known that the site was operating behind schedule, alleging that the contractor missed all of the ‘major milestones’ set in place by the unconfirmed client. “nnNow the finger pointing starts but hopefully Tesla can articulate the real reason(s) for the delay. If the contractor was incompetent then they can try again, but if it was slow permitting then it’s good bye Nevada and hello Texas.

    • http://ThisWeekinEnergy.tv Bob Tregilus

      Tesla shareholder call on Thursday. It’s very likely a second site is under construction and Reno just lost the factory. If so, it would be a f*&^ing disaster for us. And that’s “Two” sources said the progress was WAY behind schedule. :(

      • reubadoob

        I work “next door” so to speak. I’ll see today if construction is still ongoing when I go to work. Typically it’s lit up like Christmas every night I go home around 4am.

        • http://ThisWeekinEnergy.tv Bob Tregilus

          Thanks. I just got news from a Channel 8 reporter that it is pretty much shutdown. Details in my newsletter. Hope you can come out to our picnic next Sat. Aug 2nd reubadoob (see newsletter). Oh, and btw, have you heard what the big project that’s lit up like Christmas is? http://electricnevada.org/enews/EAANN_eNews07_25_2014.html

        • Tom Villars

          Here is a link to the permit which shows it was granted 6/26/14. reubadoob, do you recall when they started round the clock construction?nnnhttp://www.mynews4.com/media/lib/167/1/f/b/1fb61546-63ea-4c17-9699-207d8e540e17/project_tiger_permit.pdfnnnnWhat I find curious is if the contractor has only been allowed on the site for four weeks how is it possible they are way behind schedule and missed all “major milestones?” Seems more likely the issue was with slow permitting which is exactly why Elon set up the deal they way he did.

          • reubadoob

            They were doing 24/7 construction for several weeks in June and July. One of my co-workers noted it looked like Burning Man so many lights on.

      • Tom Villars

        I doubt they’ve broken ground at two sites as something this big would have leaked out of Texas just like it did in Nevada. Seems more likely to me they’ll announce Nevada had its chance and then give Texas and California a swing.

        • http://ThisWeekinEnergy.tv Bob Tregilus

          It could be kept secret. Had I not heard about it through and “friend’s friend,” we’d never be having this discussion. While a ton of people knew about it, the news has to reach a person interested and able to get the news out about it.

          • Rhonda Z.

            can you really blame them? on the off chance they might be called back, nobody wants to stick out their neck and violate an unwritten NDA inferred by the contractors.

      • prick

        WE WERENT BEHIND SCHEDULE ANYMORE DEADLINE WAS 21ST OF JULY INVESTORS CAME AND SAW THAT WE MET THE DEMAND AND WERE VERY PLEASED THIS IS THE EPA THATS ALL I KNOW. WE MET THE DEADLINE SO THE CAUSE OF TEMPORARY LAY OFF WAS NOT DO TO BEING BEHIND I ASSURE YOU.!!!!!##

        • Tom Villars

          EPA?!? That could be anything but if it involves endangered species Nevada is screwed.

  • Greener

    This may be good news in New Mexico.

  • Mike Tubbs

    Apparently, they couldn’t “Git ‘er (t-i-g-e-r) done” on time…and they didn’t heed the “Get To Work” sign at the front gate.

    • prick

      NOT THE CASE !!!!#

  • windbourne

    That is what happens when you hire a sub-contract that then subs it out to illegals.nYou get cheap work not being done.