Human Events Blog

Your green energy bankruptcy of the day: Evergreen Solar

While liberals and their failed President spend every day wailing about the awful “tax breaks” given to those hellish fossil fuels – a.k.a. The Stuff That Actually Works – every day brings a new tale of “green energy” bankruptcy.  Today’s is, at least, primarily a local story, but it’s a mighty expensive one.  Massachusetts bids farewell to Evergreen Solar, as reported by the Associated Press:

Evergreen Solar is asking a bankruptcy judge for permission to walk away from its former plant in Devens.

The company, which received tens of millions in state aid before shuttering its facilities last year and moving its manufacturing operations to China, filed the notice in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware on Monday.

How deep a solar-heated bath will Massachusetts take on this latest green energy triumph?

Evergreen received more than $20 million in grants and $11 million in tax and lease initiatives from Massachusetts. That doesn’t include other tax benefits and millions in upgrades to roads and utilities around the plant.

Gov. Deval Patrick championed Evergreen Solar early in his first term.

(Emphasis mine.)  Ah, the investment acumen of the Left.  It’s a wonder to behold.  And now the taxpayers of Massachusetts will have an empty, useless plant, surrounded by roads and utilities they don’t need, to show for their millions. 

It puts one in mind of the empty, unsalable warehouse facility left behind by the Solyndra bankruptcy, which has degenerated into an environment-threatening toxic waste dump that Solyndra refuses to clean up.  Maybe they could rent it to the producers of The Walking Dead, in case they want to include a scene showing the origins of the zombie virus next season.

If you’re breathing a sigh of relief that at least the federal government wasn’t involved in this particular disaster, well, that’s not entirely true.  There was a Department of Energy connection to Evergreen Solar, but it got cleaned up when the company began selling its assets to a Hong Kong company in November, as Bloomberg News reported:

Evergreen will sell its core wafer assets to Hong Kong- based Max Era Properties Ltd. for about $9.2 million, comprised of $6 million in cash and $3.2 million in unrestricted ordinary shares of China Private Equity Investment Holdings Ltd. (CPEH), according to court documents.

The core wafer assets consist of intellectual property for Evergreen’s so-called “wide wafer” technology used to produce solar panel cells, and interests in a Chinese joint venture. Three “Gemini patents,” in which the Department of Energy claims to hold rights and aren’t useful to the production of the wide wafer technology, aren’t included.

“It’s bittersweet,” P. Sabin Willett, a lawyer for the company, said in an interview after the hearing. “We are happy we completed the sale but it’s sad for the solar industry which has become a political football.”

In other words, the federal government compelled American taxpayers to subsidize the development of Evergreen’s core technology, but at least Uncle Sam was able to pluck those patents from the smoldering wreckage of Deval Patrick’s favorite company.  What Uncle Sam will now do with those treasures is anyone’s guess.

The same article notes that Evergreen claims it went bankrupt due to “increased competition from government-subsidized solar-panel makers in China, and the failure of the U.S. to adopt clean-energy policies.”  Dang it all to sustainable hell!  If only Obama forced us to pour more of our money into the companies run by his top contributors, and worked harder to increase our fuel and electricity prices, maybe America could finally “transform” into a green nation capable of competing with the indentured peasants of communist China!

Green energy: robbing American taxpayers blind to “stimulate” the economy of China.

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