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Senator Spilka Joins Governor Patrick in Announcing Expansion of Clean Tech Company A123 Systems in Hopkinton

April 22, 2010

On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Senator Karen Spilka joined Governor Deval Patrick today in announcing that advanced battery maker A123 Systems will create more than 250 new jobs and locate its growing grid power storage division in Massachusetts. To help facilitate A123 System’s expansion, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has approved a $5 million forgivable loan for the Watertown-based company contingent on it hitting job creation and private investment milestones. The company anticipates making $80 million in capital expenditures in Massachusetts to build up its manufacturing and R&D capabilities here by the end of 2014.

“A123 has already established itself as a leading battery maker for the electric cars that are the clean energy future of the U.S. auto industry,” said Governor Patrick. “I am pleased to see this Massachusetts company growing its operations here, creating jobs and contributing to the Commonwealth’s clean energy leadership.”

“The Clean Energy Center loan will help create jobs in Hopkinton while advancing the Commonwealth’s goal of embracing the economy of the future through green technology and clean energy. I am excited that Massachusetts is able to continue to support A123 Systems as it seeks to revolutionize the way we create energy for our cars and consumer electronics. This partnership will result in good jobs for Massachusetts residents and good clean technology for the global economy,” said Senator Karen Spilka, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technology.

“With support from Governor Patrick and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, A123 plans to develop and build systems that will create a smarter and more efficient grid, double the size of our R&D facilities, and create more than 250 new jobs right here where the company started,” said David Vieau, president and CEO of A123 Systems. “Massachusetts has all of the key elements required for A123’s continued growth: a well-educated workforce, access to world-leading innovations developed at top universities, and an environment which is supportive of clean energy technologies and companies.”

Founded in 2001, A123 Systems develops and manufactures advanced lithium ion batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid and consumer markets. Headquartered in Watertown with additional facilities in Hopkinton, the company is a leading supplier of battery systems for a wide variety of next-generation energy storage applications. In September 2009, A123 raised $378 million in its initial public offering.

A123 Systems has added more than 50 corporate and research and development jobs in Massachusetts in the last year associated with its expanded U.S. manufacturing capacity in Michigan. The expansion was supported by a $249 million federal stimulus U.S. Department of Energy grant designed to accelerate the manufacturing and deployment of the next generation of batteries for plug-in hybrid and all-electric automobiles.

“Electricity storage is a critical challenge for clean energy developments such as electrifying automobiles and managing intermittent sources of renewable energy such as wind and solar,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles, who serves as chairman of the MassCEC board. “A123 is one of Massachusetts’ leading clean energy companies, moving the country and the world toward a clean energy future. Governor Patrick and I are glad to have them here – and growing.”

With the expansion announced today, A123 Systems will assemble and commission its largest-sized battery systems in Massachusetts. These trailer-sized units will be used to store power for the electric grid, creating a more stable and efficient system. In addition, these systems can help integrate renewable sources of power, like wind and solar. Under the terms of the MassCEC financing, A123 will double its Massachusetts employment to more than 500 by 2014.

“With this financing offer, Massachusetts has shown once again it has the right incentives for clean energy companies to choose the Commonwealth,” said MassCEC Executive Director Patrick Cloney. “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Patrick and Secretary Bowles, A123 will continue to grow in Massachusetts.”

A123 Systems is part of a nationally significant cluster of innovative energy storage companies in Massachusetts. Other Massachusetts companies developing advanced batteries and other electricity storage devices include Boston-Power, Beacon Power and Premium Power.

“The state has always been an innovator in clean energy technology and policy. This strategic investment will help the Commonwealth meet its emission reduction targets, while creating sustainable jobs. It is a win for both the environment and the economy,” said Senator Marc Pacheco, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.

“Massachusetts is at the forefront of clean energy innovation, and companies like A123 have put us there. With this investment from the Clean Energy Center, the company can expand its operation here in Metrowest, create needed jobs, and leverage $80 million in private funds. There’s real opportunity here and I’m so pleased to see this funding come through. And what better way to recognize Earth Day than to support a local company like A123 that’s leading the way in green and sustainable sources of energy,” said Representative Carolyn Dykema.

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