WBUR

Was Mass. Bidding Against Itself In Evergreen Solar Deal?

BOSTON — Evergreen Solar. Even the name sounds like a promise of permanence: evergreen.

But now that name is synonymous with breaking a promise.

After receiving tens of million of dollars in tax incentives from Massachusetts, the Marlborough company is closing its factory in Devens — putting 800 jobs at risk — and moving its production to China.

And here’s an often-overlooked fact: even before state officials persuaded Evergreen Solar Inc. to build its manufacturing plant in Devens, the company had been planning to set up shop in Westborough.

The new Massachusetts state auditor, Suzanne Bump, is promising to go through the books. She’s just one of many people asking: did the Evergreen deal ever make economic sense?

WBUR’s All Things Considered host Sacha Pfeiffer and reporter Curt Nickisch explore the issue.

Earlier:

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  • Kvn332

    I wonder if the whole thing wasnt a setup in the first place, are they exporting all the machinery? Martha should put a lien on them if they were bought with the incentive monies!!!

  • Zzzoarr

    Another Obama deal with China. Just keep supporting him and watch our jobs leave the US.

  • Frank

    Evergreen leveraged its unique wafer making technology to start the business. Thier problems came when trying to make panels. Instead of minimizing risks by growing modelstly, they decided to double the size of the panel plant, and ultimately failed to get the large panel making process to be cost effective. Thier automation design was not effective in the end. Lesson: look before you jump in that if you are challenged to perform (making panels), then gain skills and be prepared to grow incrementally by leanring, adapting, improving. They rolled the dice on a collosus and failed. This failure is the result of Richard Feldt who pushed to make Evergreen this huge, so he could sell it off and walk away wealthier. Now he has just walked, fairly wealthy and the state and the workers and thier suppliers are the ones getting screwed. He did goofy things with the short selling activity too with Lehman Brothers too (lost $30MM in shares, as Lehman wnet under)…this guy and his type are the ones who destroyed this opportunity called Evergreen Solar. A Wall street genius right…then lets add Mr Scott Brown…if we did not put this loser into ofice, Mmartha Coakley would have supported cap and trade laws that would have helped the US further fund renewable energy. But no, the wonderful Tea/Republican party gave us this genius too…who wants less regulation on business so folks like Feldt can go on destroying companies and then they can walk away rich and everyone else gets screwed. Brown also does not support taking give some of the tax breaks, and incentive give-aways to the oil, coal and gas companies to help drive renewable like Evergreen Solar. So in the end, our votes count, and lets through Brown out, and get some one in like a Coakley who actually kows what Massachusetts needs and someone who would hold the sleeze bags of Wall street accountable. Instead we have we have Scott Brown the NUDE model and genius…when wondering what happened to Evergreen, maybe we should look in the mirror…

  • Tcwiggins03

     Just one more example of government stepping in and screwing things up. Let the private sector make solar panels without government and it will be way better.

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