Hydro Doubles Investment in Thin Film Solar Cells

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., a developer of state-of-the-art, thin-film photovoltaic modules, announced yesterday that the Oslo, Norway-based company Hydro ASA has acquired an additional 934,462 shares of Ascent Solar common stock and 1,965,690 Class B warrants.

By acquiring these additional shares, Hydro holds 23% of the total outstanding common shares. Hydro has also acquired 23% of outstanding Class B warrants. Pursuant to another option that was approved by Ascent Solar’s shareholders, beginning December 13, 2007, Hydro will have the opportunity to purchase additional shares and Class B warrants so that it will hold up to 35% of each class of security.

Einar Glomnes, head of Hydro’s Solar Division, said, “Ascent Solar has developed an exciting and future-oriented solar cell technology, and we believe there will be a large market for their products. Its super-thin and flexible solar cell modules go very well together with Hydro’s building systems activities, and we are looking forward to a continued fruitful partnership together with Ascent.” 

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

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Hydro is a leading offshore producer of oil and gas and is the third-largest integrated aluminum supplier in the world. In June this year, Hydro joined the Belgian Umicore in forming HyCore, a company that is to develop a pilot production plant for the manufacture of solar-grade silicon at Herøya in Porsgrunn, Norway.

Provided that results from the pilot plant are satisfactory, Hycore will commence large-scale production of solar-grade silicon in 2010. Hydro is also part-owner of Norsun, which will produce monocrystalline silicon wafers for the production of solar cells.

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