Once considered an also-ran in the hunt for Tesla’s $5 billion Gigafactory, San Antonio, Texas may be edging its way to the head of the pack, according to new reports.
Tesla officials, including its Mayor Julian Castro, have been working overtime to muscle their way into the hearts of Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk. So far, the green electric car maker, has taken notice, announcing in late February that San Antonio was, indeed, in the running for the Gigafactory that will produce 6,500 jobs and more lithium-ion batteries than ever before dreamed possible.
Now the Alamo City may just be the top contender in all of Texas, thanks to its city-owned CPS Energy which has been Tweeting up a storm to Tesla about its virtues.
Via social media, CPS Energy is telling Musk and company that it is committed to renewable energy — looking to make wind and solar power account for 20 percent of its electricity sources by 2020. It also has boated pride in its demand response, which allows customers to voluntarily reduce their electricity use during peak demands.
The tweets may be just what the doctor ordered for Musk, a co-founder of SolarCity, one of the largest providers of residential solar systems in the U.S. The Gigafactory wouldn’t just make batteries for sexy green cars, it would also create “stationary storage applications” for homes and businesses, providing more solar panels on rooftops and battery systems to store the power they generate.
This is all good news for San Antonio and Texas as a whole, who is competing with Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada for the plush Gigafactory.
But then again, the race seems to change every day, with one state boasting their wares over another and others falling out of favor because of laws disallowing Tesla to sell directly to consumers. Just this week, the Arizona Legislature failed to pass a bill that would have allowed Tesla to do just that. There’s also news that the drive in New Mexico for a special legislative session to allow incentives for the Gigafactory appears to have stalled, according to news reports.
All of that could mean that the Gigafactory will indeed land deep in the heart of Texas, which might be OK for Tesla because like the Alamo, it too doesn’t want to be soon forgotten.