Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More Like This, Please

Thanks in large part to the efforts of Governor Deval Patrick, Evergreen Solar will expand in Massachusetts, building a new manufacturing plant in Westborough and doubling their Massachusetts workforce. Richard Feldt, president and CEO of the company had nothing but praise for the Governor in the press release announcing the expansion:

"Governor Patrick's vision for broad scale solar adoption through an innovative solar incentive program as well as the creative financial incentive programs the state had to offer influenced our decision to expand in Massachusetts . Finally, the Governor's efforts to encourage utilities to use their substantial infrastructure to improve solar market delivery should help us close the gap between solar and conventional energy costs."
This is the difference an engaged governor can make. The Globe article on the story quotes Evergreen Founder Mark Farber as saying that no one in the Romney administration showed "receptiveness" toward the company. If Governor Patrick can keep luring and keeping businesses here -- and loudly claim credit for it -- his early missteps will be just a footnote along the state's road to economic recovery.

By the way, I hate to open old wounds, but I recall that former gubernatorial candidate and venture capitalist Chris Gabrieli pooh-poohed the idea of a Massachusetts expansion for Evergreen Solar during one of last year's debates. I'm sure he's happy to have been proven wrong.