Ascent Solar Technologies, which is 35-percent owned by Hydro, opened a new production facility and headquarters near Denver, Colorado, in the U.S. on March 24.
Ascent Solar is developing flexible thin-film solar energy modules for a variety of application, including building systems.
The new production line will be capable of producing 30 MW of modules per year, and will employ up to 200 people over the next two years.
“It is a great milestone to open a large-scale facility that will help bring talented employees and a unique enabling solar technology to the market at a time when the economy and environment are creating great demand,” said Dr. Mohan Misra, Ascent Solar’s chairman and CEO.
The company is working with its partners, including Hydro, to develop products that include building-integrated photovoltaic modules that can be part of rooftops, awnings and siding, for example, to provide solar power.
"The beauty of this is that it becomes part of your structure," said Ashu Misra, Ascent Solar's vice president of operations. "This becomes your siding. This could become your curtain, your awning, your tent."
Richard Erskine, who is responsible for Hydro's Business Development for solar activities, said: "This is an important milestone for Ascent. The plant is a world-class facility which has been completed without an LTI" – lost-time injury – "and will allow Ascent to eventually produce over 30MW CIGS thin film."
CIGS stands for copper indium gallium (di)selenide, often used in thin-film solar energy modules, in contrast to more traditional rigid panels using silicon-based solar cells.