Evergreen Solar Move Opens Up Unique Industrial Space

Evergreen Solar recently decided to move their manufacturing from Devens, Massachusetts to China due to rapidly falling PV panel prices and other economic challenges that have made profitable manufacturing in Massachusetts difficult. Considered by many to be a blow to the innovative Massachusetts economy, not only because of the heavy layoffs and state investment in the facility itself, the move is also another piece of evidence showing China’s ability to lead the industry in producing cheaper solar panels (see this article for more on that topic.)

When we heard about Evergreen’s imminent move, we decided to do a little research on the facility they will soon vacate. Although it’s a not appropriate for most of the Boston area’s commercial tenants, we think it’s worth noting the many unique attributes that could make the Devens facility the perfect real estate fit for any heavy industrial user who would normally consider moving to Massachusetts to be cost prohibitive because of the available real estate. Many heavy industry companies would find the Devens space (located on a former Military base) to be a prime opportunity.
Some of the significant features for industrial users include:
  • Evergreen is leaving behind a 400K square foot building with 280Ksquare feet actively occupied by:
    • 120K sqft of manufacturing space
    • 90K sqft of support
    • 60K sqft of warehouse
    • 10K sqft of office space
  • 3 RTO’s, regenerative thermal oxidizers
  • 9 cooling towers
  • 26 air handlers
  • 5 air compressors
  • Silicon dust collection
  • 2 boilers
  • Waste water treatment
  • With process piping for: argon, nitrogen, ammonia, and silane
As mentioned in a previous blog article, existing infrastructure can provide a significant cost savings for an industrial client, and Evergreen’s Devens facility, with its robust utility infrastructure could be just such a cost saving opportunity for the right industrial user.