Ascent Solar

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Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc.
Industry Photovoltaics, Solar energy
Founded 2005
Headquarters Thornton, Colorado, United States
Key people
Kong Hian Lee, CEO
Revenue IncreaseUS$7 million (2013)[1]
DecreaseUS$-6M (2013)[1]
DecreaseUS$−$6 million (2013)[1]
Total assets DecreaseUS$61.4 million (2013)[1]
Total equity DecreaseUS$50.0 million (2013)[1]
Number of employees
150 (YE 2013)[1]

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. is a publicly traded photovoltaic (PV) company located in Thornton Colorado. Its primary product is a flexible CIGS solar cell on a plastic substrate.


Ascent Solar's thin-film solar modules are manufactured from CIGS cells using copper indium gallium (di)selenide semiconductor (CIGS), which has shown a 10.5% NREL efficiency in real-world conditions. 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 them the greatest power density and weight ratio among available flexible photovoltaic products[2] 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,[3] and as one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2011 by Time Magazine.[4]

Market history[edit]

Ascent Solar entered the manufacturing stage for its products in 2013, 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),[5] and Bye Aerospace (for solar-powered unmanned aircraft).[6]

It has also launched in 2013 the Enerplex brand. EnerPlex represents the consumer side of Ascent Solar, integrating Ascent’s transformational CIGS technology into products which consumers use every day. Through EnerPlex, Ascent has pivoted into the consumer space with the aim to put solar in the hands of every consumer.


EnerPlex is a brand of solar and electronic consumer products launched by Ascent Solar, Inc.[7] 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.

Its product line ranges from smart phone chargers to other consumer products. Its latest product is the Kickr 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.[8] 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.[9][needs update]

On July 18, 2006, Ascent completed its IPO, releasing 3,000,000 shares at 5.50 USD per share.[10] 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. 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.[11] On March 11, 2009, Ascent Solar commenced regular production at their facility in Colorado. The company began with a one-shift production schedule.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Ascent Solar 2011 Annual Report - Form 10-K - March 22, 2012." (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^
  4. ^ "The 50 Best Inventions". Time. 2011-11-28. 
  5. ^ Goossens, Ehren (2012-08-06). "Ascent Solar to Supply Panels to IPhone Maker Foxconn". Bloomberg. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Mobile Chargers Prepare for Their Day in the Sun April 24, 2013 NYT
  8. ^ "ITN Energy Systems Main Page". ITN Energy Systems. Archived from the original on 3 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  9. ^ "Ascent Solar: Main Page". Ascent Solar Technologies. Retrieved 2008-10-08. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Reuters: Ascent Solar Technologies - Key Developments". Reuters. p. 5. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  11. ^ "Ascent Solar President and CEO Foster Resigns". Forbes. 2008-09-22. Archived from the original on 26 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 

External links[edit]