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28 August 2007


Ascent Solar awarded DoE contract for high-rate CIGS process development

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc of Littleton, CO, USA, which develops thin-film photovoltaic materials and modules based on copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), has been awarded a $165,000 contract by a US Department of Energy National Laboratory to develop materials and processing tools that could lead to higher manufacturing speeds, and thus greater throughput and lower manufacturing costs.

“The early-stage experimental research and development work performed under this grant is aimed ultimately at reducing manufacturing costs,” says chief technical officer, Dr Joseph Armstrong. “We will be investigating a novel new approach to increasing the production throughput in the CIGS process.”

* Earlier in August, Hydro ASA of Oslo, Norway (an offshore producer of oil and gas and the world’s third-largest integrated aluminum supplier) made a follow-on investment of $10.48m, bringing its stake to 23%. Hydro also has an option, from 13 December, to raise its stake further to 35%.

“We believe there will be a large market for their products,” says Einar Glomnes, head of Hydro’s Solar Division. “Its super-thin and flexible solar cell modules go very well together with Hydro’s building systems activities.”

“The additional capital will help accelerate our plans towards building our first 25MW high-volume production plant,” said Ascent’s president and CEO Matthew Foster. “The full 25MW build-out is planned to be complete by the end of 2009. Our current priority remains the completion of our 1.5MW pilot plant [in Denver, CO, USA], which is on track for completion by the end of 2007 with initial production beginning in early 2008.”

See related items:

Ascent Solar raises over $20m from warrant conversion

Ascent Solar shareholders approve increase in Norsk Hydro stake from 23% to 35%

Honda starts selling CIGS solar cells

Emerging PV technologies growing at 43% annually

Energy producer Hydro invests in Ascent Solar for CIGS-based flexible solar cells