Energy and Environment

Tesla Gives Rare Glimpse Inside Gigafactory

Mar 18, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Tesla opened its doors today to local media to get a glimpse of its progress at the $5 billion Gigafactory under construction in Storey County. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey takes us inside.

The echo-filled lobby of Tesla's battery factory is about one of three places journalists were allowed to record today during a two-hour tour at their massive compound inside the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.

A spokesman for the company, who asked not to be named, gave several updates on their construction progress and production capacity.

UNR

  Western Shoshone ranchers and sisters, Carrie and Mary Dann, fought for decades with the federal government for the right to graze their cattle on ancestral lands. Although they ultimately lost, a new collection preserves the records of their long struggle.

Mary Dann passed away in 2005 and her surviving sister, Carrie, still lives near Battle Mountain on land her ancestors settled centuries ago.

Researchers Testing Cloud Seeding With Drones

Mar 16, 2016
Julia Ritchey

A month after researchers conducted a cloud-seeding test using unmanned aircraft, a Reno-based drone company is building the next generation. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, the project hopes to bring cloud seeding into the 21st century.

Inside the shop at Drone America, design engineer Kyle Pruett is showing off their plans for a new unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft called the Savant.

Adam Mayberry, City of Sparks

The cities of Sparks and Reno are touting energy and cost savings after unveiling a new $25 million system that turns sewage into electricity. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

"As you can tell, it's a big engine and it's loud,” says Michael Drinkwater, plant manager at the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility. “It's a GE Jenbacher, 20-cylinder engine, so we're burning right now approximately 250 cubic feet per minute of methane gas."

Washoe County Mulls Hoop House Rules

Mar 9, 2016
Warren IC / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Washoe County Board of Commissioners is mulling how gardening hoop houses should be regulated, if at all. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has the story.

Noah Glick

Clean energy activists gathered in downtown Reno this morning to protest the auctioning of public land leases for fossil fuel extraction. Reno Public Radio's Noah Glick was there and has more.

Valerie Love is a clean energy campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity. Standing underneath the Reno arch, she had a message for Washington.

Julia Ritchey

A broad coalition of community stakeholders is coming together to promote an ambitious plan for the Truckee River.

The public-private partnership is called the One Truckee River Initiative and it brings together more than 130 representatives from the county, city, local businesses and environmental groups.

Their goal is to draft a comprehensive master plan for the Truckee River tackling everything from water quality to public safety to stewardship.

Lynda Nelson is with the Nevada Land Trust, one of the organizations coordinating the effort.

Noah Glick

Local researchers went out yesterday to measure the snowpack levels on Mount Rose. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick tagged along and learned that February fell short.

Jeff Anderson is walking down a ski run in the Mount Rose Ski Resort. He’s a hydrologist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and he’s leading a group of scientists and members of the media to the Mount Rose snow telemetry, or SNOTEL, site where he’s taking manual measurements of the snowpack to make sure the data are consistent with electronic readings.

Nick Ares / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Truckee River Flood Management Authority recently received $1.75 million dollars to create a flood plan for the region. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick sat down with their executive director, Jay Aldean, to discuss what that means.

One of his biggest tasks for Aldean and his agency is planning and building infrastructure that will protect the region from major storms and flooding.

Julia Ritchey

Sen. Harry Reid says he supports two proposed ballot measures to boost the rooftop solar market and break up the power monopoly held by NV Energy. 

"Solar is good all over the country, but this is where it's pronounced," he said during a Reno stop on Wednesday to promote Saturday's Democratic caucus. 

Reid says he's even relayed his support for the two ballot initiatives to NV Energy President Paul Caudill. 

"They haven't been written or approved —and I'm sure everybody will file a lawsuit against them — but conceptually they're both great," he says. 

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