Project on Schedule for Full-Scale Production by Summer of 2006; Company Also Secures Silicon Supply Contracts for 18 Months
Thalheim, Germany, July 15, 2005 - Evergreen Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESLR), a manufacturer of solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost String RibbonTM wafer technology, recently celebrated the groundbreaking of its 30-megawatt solar wafer, cell and module manufacturing plant in Thalheim, Germany. The plant is being constructed by EverQ, a recently formed strategic partnership between Marlboro, Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar, Inc. and Thalheim-based Q-Cells AG, the world's largest independent manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar cells.
"This groundbreaking is a significant milestone for our strategic partnership," said Richard M. Feldt, president and chief executive officer of Evergreen Solar. "Having successfully completed the design and engineering phase, we can now commence construction on EverQ's state-of-the-art facility. We also are pleased to announce that we recently secured contracts for our anticipated silicon needs for both Evergreen and EverQ for the next 18 months. We look forward to commencing production at EverQ during the second quarter of 2006. We believe that this facility, when fully ramped to capacity, can become a model for the solar power industry."
Anton Milner, CEO and a founder of Q-Cells, said, "The EverQ facility combines the promise and know-how of our two companies - merging Evergreen Solar's proven String Ribbon wafer technology with our highly efficient cell technology. The cooperation between our organizations is proving to be excellent, and our construction timelines for the plant remain on schedule. Just last week EverQ even started to produce its first test wafers in Thalheim."
The German government is providing EverQ with grants totaling approximately $34 million at current exchange rates to offset the manufacturing facility construction costs. The cost of the 30 megawatt factory is expected to be $75 million.
At 30 megawatts, the plant is expected to create between 350 and 400 new jobs in Thalheim, which is located approximately 80 miles from Berlin. Based on the initial success of the facility, Evergreen Solar and Q-Cells will evaluate the possibility of expanding the facility from 30 megawatts up to 120 megawatts of capacity.
About Q-Cells AG
Q-Cells AG (www.q-cells.com) is an independent manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar cells. Q-Cells is headquartered in Thalheim, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, and currently has approximately 700 employees.
About Evergreen Solar, Inc.
Evergreen Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESLR) develops, manufactures and markets solar power products using the Company's proprietary low-cost manufacturing technologies. The products provide reliable and environmentally clean electric power in global markets. Solar power applications include complete power systems for electric utility customers choosing to generate their own environmentally benign power, as well as wireless power for remote homes, water pumping, lighting and rural electrification. For more information, visit www.evergreensolar.com.
Evergreen Solar(r) is a registered trademark and String Ribbon(tm) is a trademark of Evergreen Solar, Inc.
A Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. The Company cautions you that any statements contained in this press release which are not strictly historical statements constitute forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to the Company's expectations regarding the receipt of German government grants, employment created in Germany, time to complete construction and the expansion of the facility. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the following factors: the market for solar power products is emerging and rapidly developing, and market demand for solar power products such as the Company's products is uncertain; the market for products such as the Company's solar power products is heavily influenced by federal, state, local and foreign government regulations and policies, as well as the availability and size of government subsidies and economic incentives, over which the Company has little control; and the success of its partnership with Q-Cells is subject to numerous risks associated with the development of manufacturing facilities in international markets and depends on many factors that are outside of the Company's control, including the availability of government grants and contributions by Q-Cells. In addition to the foregoing factors, the risk factors identified in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission - including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 10, 2005 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2005, filed on May 2, 2005 (copies of which may be obtained at the SEC's website at: www.sec.gov) - could impact the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Readers should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The Company disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any such statements to reflect any change in Company expectations, or in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.