Keller @ Large: Solar Company That Received State Aid Moving To China

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a bet that went sour: $31 million in state aid was given to a solar panel company that’s now closing.

Evergreen Solar is moving to China, and Beacon Hill lawmakers from both parties are crying foul.

WBZ’s Jon Keller is at large with Gov. Deval Patrick’s response.

More from Jon Keller
  • Steve Pitney

    The state has been collecting $40 million per year from utility ratepayers FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY, and got a late start supporting solar companies. Result? A significant amount of solar electric, supported by state incentives, is being installed by large out-of-state companies who had grown from earlier programs in their states. Massachusetts has made grave errors by not adequately supporting smallinstallation companies, such as mine, who will never leave the state!

    I am curious. How much of this $40 million per year (over about 10 years) has actually been spent developing renewable energy??

  • FireGuyFrank

    The Commonwealth needs to file suit to get the money back WITH INTEREST! Steve is correct above that Massachusetts does not do enough to keep and encourage small business to move to and/or stay in the Bay State.

    I wonder if Evergreen Solar is going to China because our Democrat-led federal government wants to redistribute wealth to countries like China?

  • taxedout

    Pathetic: How we doing with Cape Wind??? Where is our great leader stopping this kind of thing??? China is so far ahead of us in renewable energy it’s not funny, now we send more of our jobs there. Gas over 3 bucks a gallon and Still no big push for alternative energy…Another year goes by and nothing being done!!!! No Jobs, No inovative thinking by our so called leaders, No nothing, Ah but thinking about Raising Taxes, there is always time for that!!!!

    • FireGuyFrank

      You remind me, taxedout, that with gas prices steadily climbing there is a strange silence about it. Remember some two and half to three years ago as gas prices moved towards $3, then $3.50, then $4 how folks were claiming President Bush was allowing his rich, Texas friends to get richer?


      Where is the outcry now? You want to talk about a job-crushing event, how about the inflation this will cause? Food prices were just coming down again. Now what will we face? Note that many energy analysts believe gasoline will reach $5.00 a gallon in another year.

  • Bruce Gabriel

    Take a look at the video of Donald Trump’s interview with Gretta Vansusteren of FOX news. Trump addresses the root cause of our competitive disadvantage issues.

    China has cheaper labor rates because it has a lower standard of living and does not provide a safety net to its labor force. Add to that the unrealistically low level at which the Chinese value their Yuan / RMB and you can easily detrmine why Evergreen Solar relocated to China, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts got a huge gob of egg on its face.

    Trade with China is not “free trade” because China is not free: Don Trump Favors “25% Tax” on Chinese Goods Copy and paste this link into your browser.

    • JW

      Agreed. There should be a punishment for producing goods outside the united states, if that good can be produced in the States. More incentives should be given to companies for producing goods in the States. I’m not sure if this is accurate, but I’ve heard the US has one of the highest taxes on businesses in the world.

  • decol

    Anothert show of stupidity by this state government!!

  • mikey

    It’s easy to waste someone else’s money – ours.

  • CEO

    I just LOVE Deval Patrick’s idea of a “Green Economy”. Cape Wind is going to RAISE our electric rates….primarily because Deval & Co. has MANDATED that utility companies get at least 10% of their power from renewable energy sources….thus giving the owners of Cape Wind a license to steal rather than forcing them to compete in the open market at or below market rates compared to oil, coal, nuclear, and gas fired generators. Pretty amazing considering the fuel they use, WIND, is free.

    Then Deval throws away our tax money on Evergreen Solar. Don’t you think it would’ve been wise to have something in the contract that required them to stay in Massachusetts BEFORE you handed them a $58 million incentive package? Maybe some kind of job creation/retention performance metrics that had to be met over several years? And if Evergreen Solar DID leave, shouldn’t there be a clear repayment clause? Instead, we see the incompetents on Beacon Hill flailing about trying to figure out how to get the horse back in the barn after they left the doors wide open. Just more lunacy from Deval Patrick and the rest of the Beacon Hill Gang! This is just one more example of the gross incompetence and naivety that exists in that group of you-know-whats.

  • brian

    Pathetic. Duval covering his rear with both hands and still looking like a fool. Spin isn’t going to change the facts which he, like most politicians, conveniently ignores. Jobs creation grandstanding is better in his eyes, than actually looking out for the good of the commonwealth or the small business operations such as Steve Pitney references.
    Can we finally acknowledge that it’s the tax payers ultimately left holding the bag? And could we also stop supporting the liberal left and their “government is good” mantra. Government has long stopped doing what it was intended for and sadly too many of us fall prey to siren song of big government. Taxation has become a penalty levied on producers so that incompentent’s like Duval can spend wage earner’s hard earned money on failed, ill conceived programs such as this.
    Probably what amazes me most with politicians like Duval is how they spin their way out of messes like this…teflon all the way. “Nothing wrong with my decision” and misleading comments about what they have done. Hey Duval, try “nothing”. Try cutting spending and getting the hell out of the way. But politicians like him see themselves and their bureaucracies as ‘saviors’. It’s enough to make you sick.

  • Evergreen Solar Employee Speaks About Plant Closure « CBS Boston – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and Boston's Best

    […] Now, there’s nothing for him or several family members who also work at the plant. He asked for anonymity because he worries speaking out will cost them their jobs before the plant shuts its doors. See: Keller@Large On Evergreen’s Move […]

  • jim

    While the fat cats from BOTH sides sip fine wine in Washington as we speak.

  • taxedout

    Gas hits over 4 bucks, and no one going out to eat, shop, visit, buy anything!!!! Have to stay home now with the heat down low, the lights off while the bozo’s on the hill that I pay for live the life!!!! Cut thier pay, bennies, and there maybe a few buck left to attend a 250 dollar Red Sox game!!!!

  • mikey

    Patrick is not only pathetic but enept – bigtime! This Evergreen Solar mess is just the appetizer for the major league boondoggle that is coming known as ” CAPE WIND.”

    • mikey

      Inept: i-n-e-p-t. Inept. Oh well, at least I try.

  • charlie

    Over 2 years ago, the head of the Chinese solar company now manufacturing Evergreen modules visited Mass. and made the deal under which Evergreen moved to China. The press was silent.
    Last year, it was well known in the renewable industry in Mass. that Evergreen was going to close its manufacturing facility but would occupy it until a foreign company moved in (not available for an actual Mass. company, of course). The press was silent (since if voters knew that Patrick had wasted so much of their money, the election may have had a different outcome).
    Now. the press reacts to the announcement of what has been known for over 2 years! Too bad, the media did not make comment or bring attention to the issue when the people could have moved to do something about it.

  • taxedout

    2100 jobs Lost in Mass in December…We are moving in the right direction!!!!!

  • Tax China Now

    You know how you can tell that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans really care about the American worker? Neither one of them suggests drastic cuts to federal spending, paying off China, and then taxing the he’ll out of Chinese imports. I’ll be the first to admit that unions have made labor costs ridiculous and should be knocked down a peg. But you can’t tell me companies that used to manufacture in the US 60 years ago didn’t make a profit. Those same companies will never bring their manufacturing back to US until you make it to expensive to make things in China, and the only one that can do that is the US government. I don’t know if it’s that these politicians are owned by those companies or what, but they all talk about JOBS to get your vote and then sit and do nothing but vote for pay raises and Obama care. I also think Obama probably did his fair share of sucking up to China’s president to make sure the money train didn’t stop. I’d say if you are sitting at home collecting your third year of unemployment checks and your looking to the government to solve your problems you’re in for a rude awakening.

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