Massachusetts repeals software-and-services tax

As expected, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a repeal of a controversial tax on software and services sales in the state. The repeal was passed by the state legislature Thursday. Patrick’s administration, which originally backed the tax, announced the news on Twitter. Patrick originally backed the bill but reversed himself this summer.

How the Internet of things could make the world safer and greener

The coming era of the “Internet of Things” has many implications for the tech industry. But the shift toward total connectivity could also have lasting impacts on the broader world, making it harder to commit crimes such as theft, and raising awareness about consumer waste.

Konarka Raises $5M for Thin-Film Solar

Massachusetts showed its appreciation for local solar startup Konarka today with $5 million in financing for manufacturing and job creation in the state. Konarka officially opened its first thin-film manufacturing plant in New Bedford, Mass., last October, but the company has yet to announce the start of commercial production at the facility. This latest funding — a long-term loan from the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency and the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust — could be a sign that Konarka is getting ready to ramp up its operations — finally.


Konarka has said it plans to hire more than 100 people as it boosts production over next few years. The new plant, which used to be an advanced printing plant for the now-bankrupt Polaroid, will have a production capacity of 1 gigawatt per year when its fully operational.
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Cape Wind Leaps Big Federal Hurdle

The controversial Cape Wind offshore project in Massachusetts took a step closer to becoming a reality on Friday, receiving a favorable review from the Minerals Management Service in a final environmental impact statement. The Cape Wind group said it could complete the permitting process by March.

There’s a mandatory waiting period of at least 30 days before the MMS can issue a final decision on approving a lease for the 420-megawatt wind farm, but it is expected to be approved, as the report found that the project’s environmental impacts will be mostly negligible.

Clearing this almost-final hurdle is positive news for other U.S. offshore wind projects that are still in the wings. Earlier this month, the governor of Rhode Island signed a final agreement with Deepwater Wind for a 400-MW offshore wind project. Deepwater Wind is also working on a 350-MW offshore wind farm in New Jersey, partnering with the Public Service Enterprise Group (s PEG) on that development.
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