Site for Free Markets and Free People

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Deval Patrick Wasted $58MM on Evergreen Solar

Ever hear of Evergreen Solar? The company manufactures solar power cells and panels that provide "clean electric power." They're domiciled in Massachusetts. Although the company was losing money every year from 2000 until 2007 (over $100MM), Deval Patrick decided to grant the company another $58MM in taxpayer aid in 2008. This was the type of company that Patrick could support, especially given its "green" reputation. Also Evergreen promised to hire a few hundred MA residents - so it's like the state was getting paid back or "kinda."

What's happened since then? Another $450MM in losses. And now Evergreen has announced that they can no longer compete in this market, so they're laying off 800 workers in Massachusetts, and they're closing their Deven plant. Yes, this is the same plant that saw front page pictures of Deval cutting a ribbon back in 2008.

Who did the analysis? Who gave the go-ahead to give the company $58MM?

Just another reason that government should stay out of the private sector.