Boston Power Inc.
(Source: Boston Herald) By Jay Fitzgerald, Boston Herald
Jun. 1–About 600 jobs will be created at a new Boston-Power Inc. battery-manufacturing plant in Auburn, contingent on the company securing millions of dollars in defense and federal stimulus money.
Christina Lampe-Onnerud, founder and chief executive of Westboro-based Boston-Power, Gov. Deval Patrick and other dignitaries are expected to appear at an event today to announce that Boston-Power plans to renovate an old 455,000-square-foot Filene’s Basement distribution facility into a manufacturing plant to make state-of-the-art automobile batteries.
Boston-Power, which already makes lithium-ion batteries for Hewlett-Packard notebook computers, still needs to secure federal money, but it’s already signed a tentative lease agreement in anticipation of federal funds eventually flowing into the project.
The state is prepared to invest about $9 million in matching funds, perhaps from its Clean Energy Center, created last year by the Legislature.
Lampe-Onnerud, a native of Sweden and a post doctorate grad from MIT, said her 4-year-old company, which has already received about $125 million in venture capital, is in a sweet position due to the new emphasis on developing alternative energy products.
“It’s almost like a perfect storm,” she said, adding she hopes a retrofit of the Auburn facility can start later this summer, with up to 600 jobs added over the next three years.
The plant, which other states sought to have built in their regions, will make lithium-ion batteries for all-electric, plug-in cars. Lampe-Onnerud declined to say which automakers are interested in her firm’s cutting-edge battery technology.
State officials, who have been pushing to make Massachusetts a center for alternative-energy development and manufacturing, were ecstatic that Boston-Power is expanding here.
“It’s fantastic,” said Ian Bowles, Patrick’s secretary of energy and the environment. “We see it as a cornerstone of our growing clean-energy sector.”
Among other firms, Marlboro’s Evergreen Solar and Tyngsboro’s Beacon Power have recently announced expansion plans in Massachusetts.
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