Storey County bustling since Tesla Motors gigafactory announcement

Dean Haymore, Storey County building and planning administrator, talks  during a Nevada Business Connections breakfast last year in this file photo.

Dean Haymore, Storey County building and planning administrator, talks during a Nevada Business Connections breakfast last year in this file photo.

RENO — Dean Haymore, Storey County building and planning administrator, Wednesday projected Tesla/Panasonic batteries can change both automotive and housing in years to come.

He said eventually Tesla Motors and Panasonic, along with other firms involved in the gigafactory project at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) he oversees, eventually should make batteries so efficient they will propel Tesla cars 400 miles per charge and will even power houses. He indicated at a business group’s breakfast the technology is in experimental stages, but he envisiones a new day for electricity in homes.

“You will not have to have power lines come to your house,” he predicted during a talk at the Nevada Business Connections gathering in the Atlantis casino.

Haymore, going on 29 years in the community development business for Storey County and the man with the vision that became TRIC along Interstate 80, stressed he sees his job as enabling business growth.

“I love creating jobs and wealth for people,” he said. “That’s what this life is all about.” He also said he thinks outside the box, then amended that and asserted he believed there’s no box. He views government’s role as running itself like a business; if not, he said, it should get out of the business of governing.

“Don’t build a bureaucracy to stop people,” he said, adding permits should come quickly and so should work preparing sites for industry or other firms. “I work when the work needs to be done.”

During post-speech questioning, Haymore was asked about water needs for manufacturers. He acknowledged it’s a significant problem but looked to gray water solutions, meaning recycling after treatment. He said that’s another change in coming years, predicting subdivision housing is going to include such features despite cost.

“You’ll see it in 10 years in everybody’s house,” Haymore said. He said currently there’s triple recycling going on in his area to deal with pressure on water supplies.

He also said cost of power is another hurdle, but large manufacturers bring it in from elsewhere in a process called wheeling.

Another question concerned Tesla gigafactory construction stages. He said the work force on it peaked awhile back at 1,800, currently was at 250 but would ramp up again with warmer weather next month to about 1,200.

Haymore also credited an entire team with bringing Tesla to the region, mentioning Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as part of that, and said after the news broke it spawned interest from a host of companies in moving to the area. He said the valley where Tesla is locating “is sold out” already.

“I’m kind of different,” he said, talking about sharing the wealth of prospects. “I’d rather have them go to other counties” to do some comparison shopping. He explained he wanted prospective firms in the relocation pool to check the region and he wasn’t bashful about having his hands full.

“It’s the toughest job I’ve ever done,” he said, noting Tesla’s large structures and inclusion of the latest technology keep him at work constantly.


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