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Evergreen Solar Breaks Ground on New Manufacturing Facility in Massachusetts
Devens plant to substantially increase Company's employee base in the State
MARLBORO, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Joined by Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian A. Bowles, Evergreen Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESLR), a manufacturer of solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost String Ribbon(TM) wafer technology, today broke ground for its new $165 million facility in Devens, Massachusetts. Other dignitaries included Greg Bialecki, Assistant Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Robert Culver, President & CEO of MassDevelopment, and numerous state and local legislators.
The new manufacturing plant will increase Evergreen Solar's production capacity in Massachusetts by 75 megawatts and double its employee base in the state to more than 600. Evergreen currently operates its prototype production and manufacturing facility in Marlboro, Massachusetts.
"Over the last three years, we have shown that our string ribbon technology is scalable as we have increased annual sales fourfold to approximately $100 million in 2006 through our joint venture in Europe," said Richard M. Feldt, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen Solar. "Our new plant in Massachusetts is a natural evolution of this market penetration as we focus on the significant opportunities in the United States. Several states aggressively pursued our planned new facility. Governor Deval Patrick's vision for broad scale solar power adoption, through an innovative solar incentive program and the creative financial incentive programs that the Governor and the Legislature are expected to provide, were key factors in our decision to expand in Massachusetts."
"Governor Patrick is committed to making Massachusetts a global leader in clean energy technology, and having Evergreen Solar build its first large scale US manufacturing plant here is a big step in that direction," said Secretary Bowles. "Today, we are breaking ground not only on a factory, but on the Commonwealth's clean energy future."
Feldt noted that the new factory will use the Company's revolutionary Quad furnace technology with its state of the art automated ribbon cutting feature. This innovative wafer production process provides substantial opportunity to further increase yield, cell efficiency and labor productivity as well as to reduce the Company's already industry-leading silicon consumption.
The support program provided by the state includes $23 million in grants, up to $17.5 million in low-interest loans, and a low-cost 30-year lease of state-owned property in Devens. The new production facility is expected to start shipping product in the third quarter of 2008 and reach full capacity by late 2008 or early 2009.
About Evergreen Solar, Inc.
Evergreen Solar, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets solar power products using proprietary, low-cost manufacturing technologies. The Company's patented crystalline silicon technology, known as String Ribbon, uses significantly less silicon than conventional approaches. Evergreen Solar's products provide reliable and environmentally clean electric power for residential and commercial applications globally. For more information about the Company, please visit www.evergreensolar.com.
Source: Evergreen Solar, Inc.