GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES NEW MANUFACTURING PLANT FOR EVERGREEN SOLAR, PLAN TO BOOST CLEAN ENERGY, JOBS
Incentive and financing package, state policy commitments, and path-breaking alliance with utility make Massachusetts ripe for growth
"I've said all along, if Massachusetts can get clean energy technology right, the world will be our customer," said Governor Patrick. "Evergreen Solar is one of the companies that's going to help us get clean energy right. I am proud that my economic development and energy and environmental affairs teams were able to help Evergreen Solar grow and thrive right here in Massachusetts, and give us a head start toward building a clean energy economy."
Also key to the development of solar power as a clean energy source and an industry in Massachusetts is a first-in-the-nation partnership between a manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products and an electricity distribution utility announced today. Evergreen Solar and NSTAR have announced an alliance that will combine Evergreen Solar's photovoltaic technology with NSTAR's expertise, capabilities, and customer relationships for a new model of solar market development. Utilities National GRID and Western Massachusetts Electric have also entered into discussions about forming similar relationships with Evergreen Solar.
"We are most appreciative of Governor Patrick's efforts in creating the conditions that made sense for us to expand in the place where we got our start," said Richard Feldt, president and chief executive officer of Evergreen Solar. "Governor Patrick's vision for broad scale solar adoption through an innovative solar incentive program as well as the creative financial incentive programs the state had to offer influenced our decision to expand in Massachusetts. Finally, the Governor's efforts to encourage utilities to use their substantial infrastructure to improve solar market delivery should help us close the gap between solar and conventional energy costs."
"This program with Evergreen Solar will expand renewable energy choices for our customers by making solar installations more accessible and affordable," said Thomas J. May, NSTAR Chairman, President and CEO. "Customer interest in clean energy options is growing, and we are committed to offering them an increasing number of options to choose from."
Today's announcement at Evergreen Solar's Marlborough Science and Technology Center highlighted three key developments:
- Evergreen Solar's $150 million manufacturing plant, to be built in Westborough, adjacent to the campus of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC). A $44 million financing package put together by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development includes $23 million in grants to the company and its host community, $17.5 million in low-interest loans from public and private entities, and $3 million in savings from a low-cost 30-year lease of state-owned land.
- A first-in-the-nation alliance between a solar manufacturer and an electric utility, with NSTAR agreeing to help Evergreen Solar identify prospective solar customers and to provide its customers with information on solar power, along with referrals to reputable installers and potential sources of financing.
- A commitment by the Commonwealth to aggressive goals for installed solar power generating capacity - from roughly 2 MW today to 250 MW by the end of 2017 - by strategic use of renewable energy funds and new regulatory incentives for solar power adoption by residential, commercial, and industrial customers.
"Today marks a major step on the road to our clean energy future," said Governor Patrick. "I am proud to share this day, and this road, with my friends at Evergreen Solar and NSTAR."