Ascent Solar realigns thin film solar tech with specialty markets

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTI) changed its strategy to market its lightweight, flexible thin-film solar module technology for emerging and specialty market applications, such as military and portable electronics charging. A new CEO and company resizing are in the works.

April 1, 2011 – BUSINESS WIRE — Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTI) changed its strategy to market its lightweight, flexible thin-film solar module technology for emerging and specialty market applications. In the past, Ascent has dedicated many of its resources to establishing a position in the building applied and building integrated photovoltaic markets (BAPV/BIPV). The change in strategy will mean a change in leadership and sizing the company to a new cost structure.

Producing solar modules that are exceptionally lightweight and flexible gives Ascent the ability to meet specialty needs for markets like military and defense; custom near-space applications; off-grid charging solutions in developing countries; power for portable electronics; and custom and standard products for rooftop integration on buses, trucks, and trains. Ascent believes that it can sell its products in these markets at more attractive margins than currently possible for ground-mount applications or BIPV and BAPV markets.

“Ascent’s BIPV/BAPV products are still important to our long-term growth and success. Consequently, we will continue selective business development, testing and certification for those products. A number of economic considerations, including the serious reduction of government subsidies in major markets in Europe, indicate that these markets will be under some near term pressure,” said company Chairman, Dr. Amit Kumar. Ascent will focus near-term manufacturing and sales activities on emerging, high-value, specialty market applications, Kumar continued.

The company will reduce staffing and operating costs to minimize its current cash burn rate. CEO Farhad Moghadam is stepping down to pursue other interests and opportunities. Ron Eller, an Ascent board member for the past two years, has been appointed president and CEO. Eller is a technology executive and management consultant with more than 25 years experience, including, most recently, running various divisions in the enterprise businesses of Hewlett Packard and Compaq Computer Corporation.

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. is a developer of thin-film photovoltaic modules with substrate materials that can be more flexible and affordable than most traditional solar panels. Additional information can be found at www.ascentsolar.com.

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