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September 20, 2014

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Sources: Tesla chooses Nevada for battery factory

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Scott Sonner / AP

Security guards stop a car Friday Aug. 1, 2014, at the gate to the site Tahoe Reno Industrial Center about 15 miles east of Reno, where Tesla Motors has broken ground as one of the possible places to build a $5 billion “gigafactory” to make lithium batteries for its electric cars.

Tesla Motors will announce Thursday that it will build its coveted $5 billion lithium battery factory in Northern Nevada and the Legislature will hold a special session next week to discuss the state's incentive package, according to a source and media reports.

The news follows the announcement from Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office about a “major economic development announcement” at 4 p.m Thursday at the Capitol Building. The release didn't explain any further details.

“I am sure it’s Tesla because why else would there be the urgency,” said a state leader who did not want to be identified because the deal has not be publicly announced.

According to a CNBC report, a source in the Nevada's governor's office said: "That's a go, but they are still negotiating the specifics of the contract." The source told CNBC it could be a week before the deal is official.

In an interview today, Sandoval said he is still meeting with Nevada legislative leaders to convene a special session. Sandoval declined to disclose any details and said an announcement would be made Thursday at a 4 p.m. in the Capitol. Asked if Tesla had a business license in Nevada, Sandoval said, "I don't know."

When asked for details, Sandoval said repeatedly: "An announcement will be made tomorrow." He did say Tesla officials will be at the news conference.

Sandoval declined to say whether he will recommend giving Tesla $50 million to help the company to build its $5 billion plant east of Reno in a development park in Storey County.

This summer, Tesla started groundwork at an industrial center outside of Reno. It did the same site work in other states, a practice that's common for the company.

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