For Immediate Release - January 31, 2012

GOVERNOR PATRICK CUTS RIBBON ON WIND TURBINE AT PHILIPS LIGHTOLIER IN FALL RIVER

Philips Ribbon Cutting
Governor Patrick participates in the ribbon cutting of Philips Lightolier. (Photo: Eric Haynes/Governor's Office). View additional photos

FALL RIVER – Tuesday, January 31, 2012 -- Governor Deval Patrick today joined Philips Lightolier leadership and employees to celebrate the lighting company’s new 2 megawatt (MW) wind project, which will generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power approximately 70 percent of the Philips Lightolier Fall River manufacturing plant.

"The Lightolier turbine is part of a new era of renewable energy development in Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick. "Through projects such as this, Massachusetts is building energy self-reliance, breaking free from the price volatility and pollution of fossil fuels and creating jobs for our residents.”

Construction of the wind project utilized local contractors J.L. Marshall and Sons of Seekonk and Glynn Electric of Plymouth as well as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and United Steel Workers, which employed several hundred workers on the project. 

Founded in 1904, Philips Lightolier has a rich history of growth and innovation in the electric lighting industry. The company received a $40,000 Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) feasibility study grant in 2006 to evaluate the potential for a wind project and a $500,000 grant from MassCEC to design and construct the project in 2009. Installed last fall, the turbine is expected to be interconnected and producing electricity this spring.

“As a manufacturer of energy efficient lighting, Philips Lightolier is among nearly 5,000 companies that comprise a Massachusetts clean energy sector that employs over 64,000 people,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan, Jr. “With the installation of this new turbine to power much of its manufacturing plant, the company has advanced its green profile and deserves credit for being a clean energy leader.”

A recent MassCEC study showed that clean energy jobs in Massachusetts grew jobs by 6.7 percent from July 2010 to July 2011.

The 2 MW wind turbine will offset the production of nearly 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the project -- furthering the Commonwealth's nation-leading greenhouse gas reduction goals. In accordance with the Global Warming Solutions Act signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008, Massachusetts must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

"The Lightolier wind project is a great example of how companies throughout Massachusetts are using renewable energy solutions to manage their energy costs," said MassCEC Chief Executive Officer Patrick Cloney. "MassCEC looks forward to supporting responsibly sited renewable energy projects throughout the state that generate local clean energy to counter the rising cost of imported energy and fossil fuels."

The wind project is part of Philips Lightolier’s plan to create a net zero energy manufacturing facility. Philips Lightolier’s other sustainability efforts include reducing electricity use by 40 percent, reducing water use by 78 percent, reducing natural gas use by 36 percent and reducing volatile organic emissions by 98 percent over the last several years.

“We not only want to lead the industry and manufacture cutting-edge technologies such as LED lighting and controls that use less electricity, we want to ensure our manufacturing footprint has the least impact possible on the environment,” said Zia Eftekhar, CEO of Philips Lighting North America. “Today we are taking another step toward the realization of the net zero objectives in Fall River”.

Massachusetts currently has more than 44 MW of wind installed, representing greater than a 13-fold increase since 2007 and land based wind projects representing an additional 91 MW of capacity are currently under active consideration. Meanwhile the state's growing wind energy sector includes companies such as Vestas, Siemens, FloDesign and First Wind. Massachusetts further cemented its place as a wind energy leader with the opening of the world's largest Wind Technology Test Center in Charlestown last spring.

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