For Immediate Release - October 25, 2007

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES ADVANCED ENERGY TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP

GreatPoint Energy to Team with Dominion to Build Research Facility for Natural Gas Conversion at Brayton Point

SOMERSET - Thursday, October 25, 2007 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced that national energy company Dominion is joining with Cambridge-based start-up GreatPoint Energy to build a demonstration facility and research-and-development center for GreatPoint's natural gas conversion process at Dominion's Brayton Point power plant, the largest fossil fuel-fired power plant in New England. This new facility will create 100 new jobs and add to Massachusetts's growing portfolio of clean energy technology companies.

"I am delighted that GreatPoint and Dominion are working together to advance a breakthrough energy technology," said Governor Patrick. "It is this combination of know-how, entrepreneurship and experience that will help lead to a clean energy future for the Commonwealth and the world."

In January, Governor Patrick and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles met with Massachusetts climate scientists and Massachusetts-based energy companies on the challenge of building a clean energy future and addressing global climate change. At that meeting, the Governor encouraged the CEOs of GreatPoint and Dominion to collaborate on two projects with the help of Secretary Bowles.

Now Dominion and GreatPoint are embarking on a new endeavor, testing GreatPoint's pioneering natural gas conversion process, which transforms coal and other feedstocks into clean-burning methane and a stream of pure carbon dioxide to turn into energy, using Dominion's Brayton Point facility as its proving ground.

At the Commonwealth's urging, and with support from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, GreatPoint will also test its natural gas conversion process on biomass fuel stocks such as wood chips, corn stalks, and switch grass - renewable energy sources that are far more abundant in New England than coal.

"GreatPoint is a leading example of a Massachusetts-based company that is poised to bring a potentially game-changing energy technology into the commercial market," said Secretary Bowles. "I'm very pleased that their next phase of development will happen here in the Commonwealth at Brayton Point."

The GreatPoint-Dominion project is the latest in a series of steps toward building a clean energy economy in Massachusetts. In April, Marlborough-based Evergreen Solar announced it would locate its first full-scale solar panel manufacturing plant in Massachusetts, thanks to the state's competitive financing package and a commitment to increasing installed solar power from 3-4 MW today to 250 MW in 2017.

In June, the Governor convened a gathering of clean energy technology executives and called on them to form their own trade group to make their needs and their voices heard on Beacon Hill, and Massachusetts won a national Department of Energy competition to host one of two Wind Technology Testing Centers, where commercial wind turbine blades up to 230 feet in length would be tested for strength and durability.

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborate reported in August that the clean energy sector was on the verge of becoming the 10th largest industry group in Massachusetts, with 556 firms and 14,400 employees and an annual growth rate of 20 percent per year.

"The SouthCoast is honored to have GreatPoint as a new member of our community," said Senator Joan Menard, D-Fall River. "We're looking forward to working with GreatPoint and Dominion on finding new and cleaner ways to produce energy for our region."

"This is a great opportunity for all of us - for the Town of Somerset, for the Commonwealth and for all of us seeking new and alternative energy sources," said State Representative Patricia A. Haddad, D-Somerset. "We have been working for some time to make this happen in Somerset and I am pleased to see our efforts come to fruition."
 

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