We had relayed the disappointing news of Evergreen Solar shutting down its Devens manufacturing facility a couple months ago. While the companycontinues to operate its headquarters in Marlborough, MA and its high temperature filament plant in Michigan, Evergreen decided to close the Devens plant and accelerate production in China.
The determination was made in order to streamline manufacturing andcut expenses. With high labor costs and less government incentives inthe US, many solar energy companies are forced to move manufacturing overseas to remain competitive. According to Evergreen’s press release, the elimination of the Devensmanufacturing facility will disturb 800 jobs, but will help conservecash and reinforce expansion of its wafer technology.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has now made adecision on how Evergreen’s move to China will affect rebates toresidential and commercial customers. Currently, Massachusetts residents and businesses can take advantage of an additional discounton their solar electric system if it incorporates components from a Massachusetts company. The extra incentive is $0.10 per watt for the first 5 kW (on an up to10 kW PV system). It may not seem significant, but on a 5 kW systemthis would be $500. To qualify for this additional rebate, you mustprovide proof that the solar (PV) panels, the inverter(s), or anothercomponent that is important to the electricity production ismanufactured by a company with a significant Massachusetts presence. This is determined at the sole discretion of the MassCEC. EvergreenSolar is one of only six companies, including Schott Solar, Satcon,Solectria Renewables, Beacon Power, and PanelClaw, that qualify.
According to an email sent from the MassCEC yesterday, projects thatincorporate Evergreen Solar modules that submit project completionpaperwork by March 31, 2011 will automatically qualify for theMassachusetts Company Components adder. If paperwork is submitted on or after April 1, 2011, the adder will only be given if Evergreen solarpanels are purchased before March 31, 2011. Purchase documentation will be required in order to verify this requirement. Your solar contractor can guide you through this change, or you can contact the MassCEC directly if you have additional questions.
A rebate is one of many incentives available for Massachusetts solar installations. If you’re thinking about adding solar panels to your Massachusetts home or business, rebates are not available for do-it-yourself projects. You must involve a solar professional to qualify. A Massachusetts solar installer, such as Brightstar Solar, can help you determine if you have the rightsite to generate solar power and talk about the broad range ofincentives available for your installation. Contact us now for a complimentary evaluation and free estimate!
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