“Phase 1 of our Devens site is on schedule to open by mid 2008 and begin its ramp up to 80 MW of production in 2009. We expect to complete Phase 2 by early 2009 and it should be at its full 80 MW annual capacity by the end of 2009, bringing total site capacity to approximately 160 MW,” said Richard M. Feldt, Evergreen Solar’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.
“With this expansion, we will have approximately 1000 employees in Massachusetts in 2009, triple our employee base today, and we will be one of the leading “green” employers in the Commonwealth, continued Mr. Feldt
This is playing right into the hands of the right wing, anti-corporate tax politicians and think tanks. Our Governor took the advice of these conservative think tanks and went along with their ideology. The result was supposed to be a boom to employment and economy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Fast forward to 2011:
Evergreen Solar Inc. will eliminate 800 jobs in Massachusetts and shut its new factory at the former military base in Devens, just two years after it opened the massive facility to great fanfare and with about $58 million in taxpayer subsidies, according to Boston.com
The company announced yesterday that it will close the plant by the end of March, calling itself a victim of weak demand and competition from cheaper suppliers in China, where the government provides solar companies with generous subsidies.
Can you believe the audacity of this company to say the reason they are moving is because of CHINESE subsidies? Didn’t the taxpayers of Massachusetts give you $58 million dollars, is that not enough.
The real reason is they are going for cheap labor. The company would never place blame on the American worker, that’s bad “PR”.
This entire ordeal flies in the face of all the talk from Thomas Freidman, Ronald Reagan and any other “flat world”, free trading conservatives.
In Ha-Joon Chang’s book Bad Samarititans; the myth of free trade and the secret history of capitalism, in 1933 an Asian clothing company wanted to start manufacturing automobiles. They were lagging in many aspects though. The nation didn’t have a serious domestic auto manufacturing base, they had no experience in the industry. The world leaders were leaps and bounds ahead of them, like America and great Britain, and had captured the global market.
Subsidies from their government helped develop their first car. DECADES of high tariffs protected the new company from foreign competition as it grew strong enough to compete. Domestic content laws mandated the company use parts made made within their borders, and guaranteed domestic competitors did as well.
In 1939 the country even EXPELLED GM and FORD, forbidding them from selling in their country.
The company was originally known as TOYODA AUTOMATIC LOOM COMPANY, it is now today’s Toyota which back a few years ago topped GM as #1 auto manufacturer in the world.