Monday, November 30, 2009

Would-Be Oregon "Green" Plant Deep in Red

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick lured Evergreen Solar from building its first US solar panel manufacturing plant in Oregon with a subsidy package eventually totaling $58.6 million.
Before Patrick took office, Evergreen was considering building its first US manufacturing facility in a state such as Oregon or New Mexico that offers hefty incentives to clean energy companies, [Evergreen President Richard] Feldt said. But during his gubernatorial campaign, Patrick visited Evergreen's Marlborough headquarters to try to persuade it to construct its plant in Massachusetts, according to Feldt.
Despite nearly $60 million in Massachusetts subsidies, Evergreen Solar's 2009 financial woes are five times worse than last year. The company lost $33.6 million in the first nine months of 2008. Losses for the first nine months of 2009 are $167 million.

Evergreen's stock, which hit a high of $18.84 per share in 2007, sells now for a fraction of that--under $1.50 per share.

To reduce labor and manufacturing costs Evergreen is transferring its panel assembly operations to China.

That's bad news for Massachusetts' hopes to offset the state's job losses by a growing "green" jobs sector. Nearly half of Evergreen's 800 solar plant jobs are currently involved in the panel assembly operations being moved to China.
About half of the 577 full-time and 230 contract employees at the Devens factory are involved in putting the panels together. However Evergreen declined to say about how many of those jobs would disappear with the scheduled transfer next year to China, where it is expanding because of lower costs.
Massachusetts' $60 million bet on "green" jobs has not turned out well. Will Oregon's political leaders learn from the Massachusetts experience?

H/T Ian Murray


OregonGuy said...

We're going to find that we need to increase our domestic production of Pixie Dust if our commitment to Green Energy is to remain intact.

This post of yours actually destroys Pixie Dust. I would ask you, respectfully, to remove it.

T. D. said...


I forgot about Oregon's flourishing Pixie Dust industry and jobs. My bad.