After $58 million in subsidies Evergreen Solar Inc. will eliminate 800 jobs in Massachusetts and shut its new factory just two years after it opened.
By Todd Wallack at Boston Globe.com
Evergreen itself has a factory in Wuhan, China, built in collaboration with a Chinese company, Jiawei Solarchina Co. Ltd., and with money from a Chinese government investment fund.
The Devens closing is a major hit to Governor Deval Patrick’s efforts to make Massachusetts a hub of the emerging clean-energy industry. The administration persuaded Evergreen to build at Devens with a package of grants, land, loans, and other aid originally valued at $76 million. The company ended up taking about $58 million, one of the largest aid packages Massachusetts has provided to a private company, and the governor was the featured guest at Evergreen’s ribbon-cutting in July 2008.
In the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Patrick was heavily criticized by his rivals for providing so much public aid to a company during tight fiscal times.
Closing the Devens plant will help Evergreen preserve its remaining cash. Burdened with debt, Evergreen reported losing $54 million through the first nine months of 2010 and since its founding in 1994 has run up a deficit of over $685 million.
Why the Government Should Stay Out of Green Energy
The day after the 2010 election San Francisco Bay Area Solyndra, the great green hope, another government subsidized solar plant, shuttered its original manufacturing plant and scaled back plans for those thousand jobs that Obama had heralded just a few months prior:
by Brian Sussman at Human Events
Solyndra received a government guaranteed loan procured from Stimulus funds for half a billion dollars. The money was to be plowed into the new construction.
In announcing the deal, on September 4, 2009, Vice-President Joe Biden told Solyndra employees and associates, “By investing in the infrastructure and technology of the future, we are not only creating jobs today, but laying the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st-century economy.”
Biden was joined by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu who said, “This investment is part of a broad, aggressive effort to spark a new industrial revolution that will put Americans to work.”
n May, Solyndra was visited by President Obama, who proclaimed that the Stimulus money spent on the new addition to the campus would be worth every penny. “When it’s completed in a few months,” Obama said, “Solyndra expects to hire 1,000 workers to manufacture solar panels and [to] sell them across America and around the world.”
Then, quite conveniently, on the day after the elections, we learned that Solyndra, the great green hope, was going to shutter its original manufacturing plant and scale back plans for those thousand jobs that Obama had heralded just a few months prior. The problem? Fierce competition from rival manufacturers in China and in states where the business climate is more agreeable.
So, instead of having the 1,000 extra workers Obama said it would hire, Solyndra is laying off 175 people and will cap its workforce at fewer than 1,000.
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