Evergreen Solar To Move Jobs To China

A solar panel company that received $58 million in state aid to build its factory in Massachusetts is now moving jobs overseas.

Evergreen Solar is shifting some of its production, currently done at a plant in Devens, to China next year, after posting an $82 million loss in the third quarter.

Gov. Deval Patrick calls the move unfortunate, but says some of Evergreen's operations will remain here.

Evergreen Solar CEO Rick Feldt announces the renewable energy company's second phase of expansion at its Devens manufacturing facility in April 2008 while Gov. Deval Patrick looks on. (Courtesy of office of the governor)
Evergreen Solar CEO Rick Feldt announces a second phase of expansion at the company's Devens manufacturing facility in April 2008 while Gov. Deval Patrick looks on. (Office of the governor)

"I'm disappointed about the manufacturing," Patrick said, "but I'm delighted that they will continue to grow jobs in Massachusetts and they will be a part of our emerging clean tech sector."

Ian Bowles, secretary of the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, called Evergreen's decision disappointing.

State Sen. Mark Montigny is one of the lawmakers who said this proves what he's been saying all along, that the state should not be spending taxpayer money to woo private business.

"No one should be surprised," Montigny said. "Many of us have spoken very aggressively on the floor of the Senate against these boondoggles and they continue to happen. The biggest and most egregious right now are the billion dollars going to waste on the bio-tech industry."

About half of the 577 full-time and 230 contract employees at the Devens factory are involved in putting the panels together, but the company did not say how many jobs the state would lose.

This program aired on November 5, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Headshot of Frannie Carr Toth

Frannie Carr Toth Editor, Cognoscenti
Frannie Carr Toth was the editor of WBUR's opinion page, Cognoscenti.



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