Ascent Solar

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Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc.
Type Public (NASDAQASTI)
Founded 2005
Headquarters Thornton, Colorado, USA
Key people Joseph Armstrong, Ph. D., CTO Gary Gatchell, CFO
Revenue IncreaseUS$3.95M (FY 2011)[1]
Operating income DecreaseUS$-105.3M (FY 2011)[1]
Net income Decrease-$105.7 million USD (FY 2011)[1]
Total assets DecreaseUS$61.4M (FY 2011)[1]
Total equity DecreaseUS$50.0M (FY 2011)[1]
Employees 77 (YE 2011) [1]

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. is a publicly traded solar energy company located in Thornton Colorado. Its primary product is a flexible thin film photovoltaic material on a plastic substrate.


Ascent Solar's thin-film solar modules are manufactured using copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS), which has shown a 19.5% NREL efficiency in real-world conditions, slightly above amorphous silicon and significantly above CdTe. What makes this proprietary technology unique, however, is its relative size, weight and flexibility: Ascent's CIGS panels currently allow for 85 watts/meter, and 48 watts/kg, thereby giving its them the greatest Power Density and Weight ratio among available flexible photovoltaic products by a significant margin. This allows for the efficient use of solar power in a range of new contexts, in which size or weight restrictions have previously rendered solar power impracticable: e.g., cell phones, airplanes, unmanned vehicles, consumer electronics, railways, space programs, and off-grid applications. This developing technology was selected as one of the 100 Most Innovative Technologies for 2010 by R&D Magazine, and as one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2011 by Time Magazine.

Market history[edit]

Ascent Solar has recently entered into the manufacturing stage for its products, in part by teaming up with a range of other companies like TFG Radiant (for integrating these materials into a range of building and construction materials), Foxconn (for a "pilot project" at the Zhengzhou Factory, which is currently manufacturing the iphone 5), and Bye Aerospace (for solar-powered unmanned aircraft). It has also recently begun production of solar-powered battery cases for the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphone, under the brand name Enerplex. Since the first day of market-trading in January 2012, and largely as a result of these new activities, ASTI's stock value has now increased by 328%.


EnerPlex is a brand of solar and electronic consumer products launched by Ascent Solar, Inc.[2] EnerPlex products utilizes Ascent Solar’s leading edge CIGS solar technology to bring solar charging solutions to remote and unprecedented places. Unlike traditional glass backed panels, the panels integrated into all EnerPlex products are rugged, lightweight and flexible, monolithically integrated on plastic (not glass) substrate; providing limitless possibilities for innovation.

EnerPlex strives to make a solar lifestyle possible for all global citizens, whether living in San Francisco, Singapore, the Gobi Desert or sub-Saharan Africa. EnerPlex’s solar applications can be used by all for the greater good; whether saving energy, or turning on the lights in the developing world.

Its product line ranges from smart phone chargers to other consumer products. Its latest product is the Kikr IV, a less than 12 ounces solar charger equipped with a standard USB port that can charge a wide variety of portable electronic devices from rechargeable batteries, to tablets, phones, GPS, digital cameras, eReaders and portable music players, charging them as fast as if they were plugged into an outlet.

Corporate history[edit]

Ascent Solar was founded in 2005 by ITN Energy Systems, a company engaged in commercializing emerging energy technologies through spin-offs and joint ventures.[3] During the first few years of operation, its primary focus was to research the CIGS thin-film technology as well as researching efficient methods for manufacturing. Currently,[when?] Ascent is focusing on entering its production phase with the construction of its second-generation roll-to-roll production plant which will begin manufacturing product in 2008.[4][dated info]

On July 18, 2006, Ascent completed its IPO, releasing 3,000,000 shares at 5.50 USD per share.[5] In June 2007, Norsk Hydro ASA, a Norwegian based supplier of aluminum products, entered into a deal with Ascent whereby it purchased 23% of Ascent shares with the option to increase that stake to up to 35%, which it did on October 7, 2008. Ascent has also entered into research and production deals with Texsa S.A., a Spanish roofing company along with other companies. Ascent has also partnered with the U.S. Air Force on several different research and development contracts.[6]

On September 22, 2008, Ascent's then CEO, Matthew Foster, stepped down from his position. His reason for doing so was cited as an agreement between him and the company as the company changed from research-driven to production-driven. He will remain with Ascent as a consultant for an additional year after his retirement date.[7]

On March 11, 2009, Ascent Solar commenced regular production at their facility in Colorado. The company began with a one-shift production schedule and will eventually shift to a 1.5 MW capacity at three shifts per day.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Ascent Solar 2011 Annual Report - Form 10-K - March 22, 2012.". Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  2. ^ Mobile Chargers Prepare for Their Day in the Sun April 24, 2013 NYT
  3. ^ "ITN Energy Systems Main Page". ITN Energy Systems. Archived from the original on 3 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  4. ^ "Ascent Solar: Main Page". Ascent Solar Technologies. Retrieved 2008-10-08. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Reuters: Ascent Solar Technologies - Key Developments, Page 5". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  6. ^ "Reuters: Ascent Solar Technologies - Key Developments, Page 1". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  7. ^ "Ascent Solar President and CEO Foster Resigns". Forbes. 2008-09-22. Archived from the original on 26 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-08. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Ascent Solar Commences Production from Its Littleton Production Line". Business Wire. 2009-03-11. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 

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