Mass Solar Rebate Updated for Evergreen

We had relayed the disappointing news of Evergreen Solar shutting down its Devens manufacturing facility a couple months ago.  While the company continues 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 and cut expenses.  With high labor costs and less government incentives in the US, many solar energy companies are forced to move manufacturing overseas to remain competitive.  According to Evergreen’s press release, the elimination of the Devens manufacturing facility will disturb 800 jobs, but will help conserve cash and reinforce expansion of its wafer technology.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has now made a decision on how Evergreen’s move to China will affect rebates to residential and commercial customers.  Currently, Massachusetts residents and businesses can take advantage of an additional discount on 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 to 10 kW PV system).  It may not seem significant, but on a 5 kW system this would be $500.  To qualify for this additional rebate, you must provide proof that the solar (PV) panels, the inverter(s), or another component that is important to the electricity production is manufactured by a company with a significant Massachusetts presence.  This is determined at the sole discretion of the MassCEC.  Evergreen Solar 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 that incorporate Evergreen Solar modules that submit project completion paperwork by March 31, 2011 will automatically qualify for the Massachusetts Company Components adder.  If paperwork is submitted on or after April 1, 2011, the adder will only be given if Evergreen solar panels 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 right site to generate solar power and talk about the broad range of incentives available for your installation.  Contact us now for a complimentary evaluation and free estimate!