North Coast Solar Stocks

October 27, 2009

Ascent Solar Unveils FlexPowerTM Modules at Solar Power International

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

6:00 am EDT, Tuesday October 27, 2009

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of lightweight flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, today unveiled its FlexPowerTM line of products. The FlexPowerTM class of modules, which includes Light, Mobile and Extreme, carries an industry leading power to weight ratio, achieves the highest power density of any flexible product currently available in the market and provides a unique form-fit capability. The FlexPowerTM line is now available and on display at Solar Power International at the Company’s booth 1254.

FlexPowerTM Light modules are manufactured for the Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) market. The FlexPowerTM Light line features a 5 Meter long product that delivers 123 watts and is the world’s largest monolithically interconnected flexible module. Manufacturers of building materials and BIPV systems can now utilize the unique nature of the FlexPowerTM Light class for large area BIPV installations and seamless integration into building surfaces.

FlexPowerTM Mobile is designed for the Electronic Integrated Photovoltaic (EIPV) market. These modules are optimized for 12-volt battery charging applications, provide seamless integration into consumer electronics and are available encapsulated or un-encapsulated as a build to suit solution.

FlexPowerTM Extreme for Defense is a durable and deployable photovoltaic solution for Defense applications. The Extreme class of modules is designed to provide excellent power density and match existing battery recharging ecosystems allowing for more supply line independence.

Farhad Moghadam, President and CEO for Ascent Solar stated, “This is an exciting event for Ascent Solar as we unveil our line of products to the public. Our ability to manufacture monolithically integrated flexible CIGS modules provides a unique and enabling solution to various premium market opportunities. FlexPowerTM is not only a brand name, but it also best represents our manufacturing capability at Ascent Solar.”

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October 22, 2009

Ascent Solar to Supply Solar Modules to FTL Solar for NYSERDA Project

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

6:00 am EDT, Thursday October 22, 2009

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, today announced that they will be providing modules to FTL Solar for their research and development contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The parties will work on the development of light weight flexible structures that include energy production from solar electric modules produced by Ascent Solar.

Robert Lerner, Chief Technology Officer for FTL Solar stated, “We are pleased to announce our relationship with Ascent Solar. We are confident their light weight flexible high power modules will work well with our existing products as well as future products currently in our product development pipeline.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray, Jr. said: “NYSERDA is enthused about this company’s potential and is pleased to invest $250,000 toward this $500,000 FTL project that is developing a unique product with so many real-world, right-now applications. Because of its physical attributes and application flexibility, shade and electricity can be realized just about anywhere. From a New York perspective, the potential for this firm to bring product development and manufacturing to the Empire State is very encouraging and supports Governor Paterson’s goal to attract clean energy efficiency manufacturing jobs to our state.”

The development work will be carried out under a $22,500 collaborative agreement between FTL Solar and the Center for Advanced Microelectronic Manufacturing in Endicott, and the Center for Autonomous Solar at Binghamton University.

Ascent Solar President and CEO Farhad Moghadam stated, “FTL Solar has developed a variety of multi-purpose solar integrated flexible tensile structures. These structures are ideally suited for the incorporation of Ascent Solar’s high energy, flexible and light weight photovoltaic modules. We are excited about our relationship with FTL Solar and NYSERDA and the opportunity to embed our modules into a wide range of structures serving various market segments. FTL Solar has the expertise and deep history in developing these unique products and Ascent Solar has the ability to power them with our unique modules.”

About FTL Solar:

FTL Solar’s unique patent-pending products are the first and only pre-fabricated, mass produced photovoltaic (PV) tensile structures in the world. FTL Solar’s structures are innovative and in this new “Green” age, are an expression of practical function and form. FTL Solar structures integrate thin film PV with super strength fabric to create architecturally refined solar canopies, arrays and enclosures that turn sunlight into electricity. Additional information for FTL Solar can be found at http://www.ftlsolar.com.

October 21, 2009

Ascent Solar Achieves 14 Percent Cell Efficiency Milestone in Commercial Production

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

6:00 am EDT, Wednesday October 21, 2009

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of state of the art flexible thin-film solar modules, today announced that it has met a new manufacturing milestone by achieving 14% cell efficiency for its Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenide (CIGS) on flexible plastic substrate produced at its Fab1 (1.5MW) commercial production plant.

U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewal Energy Laboratory (NREL), the nation’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development, measured 14.01% cell efficiency for Ascent Solar CIGS material. Adding to this news, Ascent Solar announced a peak efficiency of 11.7% for its monolithically integrated CIGS modules manufactured at its Fab1 (1.5MW) plant in Littleton, CO.

Dr. Farhad Mogahadam, President & CEO for Ascent Solar stated, “This is a significant breakthrough in demonstrating our ability to achieve thin film CIGS cells with 14% efficiency from regular production machines. Ascent Solar’s ability to manufacturer monolithically integrated modules with efficiency as high as 11.7% in regular production serves as a vital element to our low cost per watt manufacturing goal.”

About National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development (R&D). NREL is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC. Additional information can be found at http://www.nrel.gov

October 6, 2009

Ascent Solar Announces Completion of Public Offering of Common Stock and Concurrent Private Placement to Norsk Hydro

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 4:01 pm

4:01 pm EDT, Tuesday October 6, 2009

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI) today announced that it has closed its previously announced public offering of approximately 4.6 million shares of common stock, as well as its concurrent private placement of approximately 769,000 shares of common stock to Norsk Hydro Produksjon AS, its largest shareholder, both at a price of $6.50 per share. The private placement was made pursuant to an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Ascent Solar received net proceeds, after offering expenses and underwriting discounts and commissions, of approximately $32.9 million. Ascent Solar expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for expansion of Ascent Solar’s rated production capacity and for general corporate purposes.

Barclays Capital Inc. was the sole book-running manager of the offering. The offering was made pursuant to a prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, and there shall not be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

October 1, 2009

Ascent Solar Prices Public Offering of Common Stock

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 9:20 am

Thursday October 1, 2009, 9:20 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI) today announced that it has priced its previously announced public offering. Ascent Solar is offering 4.6 million shares of its common stock at $6.50 per share to the public. Ascent Solar has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 692,000 additional shares of common stock from Ascent Solar. The offering is expected to settle and close on October 6, 2009, subject to customary closing conditions. Net proceeds from the offering are expected to be used for expansion of Ascent Solar’s rated production capacity and for general corporate purposes. This offering was made pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Barclays Capital Inc. is the sole book-running manager of the offering. The offering will be made only by means of final prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus, copies of which may be obtained from: Barclays Capital Inc., c/o Broadridge Integrated Distribution Services, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717; barclaysprospectus@broadridge.com (phone: 888-603-5847). A copy of the final prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus may also be obtained at no charge at the Security and Exchange Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, and there shall not be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

September 30, 2009

Ascent Solar Announces Public Offering of Common Stock and Commitment from Norsk Hydro to Purchase Common Stock

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 4:34 pm

Wednesday September 30, 2009, 4:34 pm EDT

THORNTON, Colorado–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI) today announced that it intends to commence an underwritten public offering of 4 million shares of its common stock. The offering is being conducted pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ascent Solar expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase 600,000 additional shares of common stock from Ascent Solar. Net proceeds from the offering are expected to be used for expansion of Ascent Solar’s rated production capacity and for general corporate purposes.

Barclays Capital Inc. is the sole book-running manager of the offering. The offering will be made only by means of a preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus, copies of which may be obtained from: Barclays Capital Inc., c/o Broadridge Integrated Distribution Services, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717; barclaysprospectus@broadridge.com (phone: 888-603-5847). A copy of the preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus may also be obtained at no charge at the Security and Exchange Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

Ascent Solar today also announced that Norsk Hydro Produksjon AS, its largest shareholder, has committed to purchase approximately $5 million of its common stock in a private placement of shares to occur concurrently with (and contingent upon the occurrence of) the closing of the public offering, at a price per share equal to the public offering price. The private placement is being made pursuant to an exemption from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, and there shall not be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

September 25, 2009

Ascent Solar and Energy Technologies, Inc. Sign Cooperation Agreement

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Friday September 25, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, today announced the signing of a definitive Cooperation Agreement with Energy Technologies, Inc. of Mansfield, Ohio. The agreement focuses on the development of new photovoltaic products intended for the U.S. military.

The parties have agreed to collaborate in the development of hybrid solar power generation systems for rapidly deployable tactical soft-walled shelters. Ascent Solar has supplied Energy Technologies with product from its existing commercial production line for a military shelter that has been used in demonstrations to potential military customers. Energy Technologies will also showcase Ascent’s 2-Meter modules on a soft-walled shelter at two upcoming expositions: Modern Day Marine on Monday, September 29, 2009 in Quantico, Virginia and the 2009 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting & Exposition in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 1, 2009. Ascent Solar intends to supply Energy Technologies with modules for subsequent 2010 demonstration projects from its upcoming 30MW high volume production line.

Tim Lowe VP Sales, Energy Technologies stated, “Ascent Solar’s flexible, light weight PV modules work well with our hybrid military power systems and are now being integrated into ETI’s tactical soft-walled shelter which will be on demonstration in Quantico, Virginia and Washington DC.”

Ascent Solar President and CEO Farhad Moghadam added, “Our material is well suited for integration into various portable and tactical solar powered solutions for the military. Working with experienced specialty integrators like Energy Technologies has helped expand our development and penetration into this exclusive market. We look forward to the demonstration of these new concepts and products for this premium market opportunity at the upcoming expositions.”

About Energy Technologies:

Energy Technologies, Inc. has been providing field proven reliability with its cost effective products since 1992. These product solutions cover the production, conditioning, and control of AC and DC power in a wide range of environments. These rugged products meet the demands and rigors of military, government, industrial, medical and telecommunications sectors. Mobile applications include shipboard, submarine, vehicular, aircraft and field deployment. Stationary applications consist of factories, process plants, utilities, networks, even offshore platforms and desert installations. Energy Technologies is located in Mansfield, Ohio. Additional information for Energy Technologies can be found at http://www.powersource.net or http://www.tacticalsolar.com.

September 23, 2009

Shares of Ascent Solar jump on 67 megawatt supply deal with TurtleEnergy

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 2:27 pm

Wednesday September 23, 2009, 2:27 pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (ASTI) jumped Wednesday on news that the solar company signed a multiyear supply agreement with TurtleEnergy LLC, a New Jersey-based photovoltaic systems integrator.

Ascent Solar shares rose $1.22, or 17.4 percent, to $8.22 in afternoon trading.

On Wednesday the company said it has agreed to deliver up to 67 megawatts of its high-efficiency flexible CIGS photovoltaic modules — or solar cells made from copper, indium, gallium and selenium — during the five-year contract period. Shipping is scheduled to begin early next year.

Rodman & Renshaw analyst Amit Dayal said he is encouraged by the company’s updates on building integrated photovoltaic supply agreement developments.

“These are good indications for the market’s reception of Ascent Solar’s technology,” Dayal said.

Dayal maintained a rating of “Market Outperform” and a $10 price target.

Ascent Solar in supply deal with TurtleEnergy

Filed under: ASTI, ENER — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 12:26 pm

Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:26pm EDT

* Signs supply deal with TurtleEnergy

* To supply 67 MW of photovoltaic modules over 5 yrs

* Shares rise as much as 23 percent

By Adveith Nair

BANGALORE, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Ascent Solar Technologies Inc (ASTI) said it signed a contract to supply up to 67 megawatt of photovoltaic modules to TurtleEnergy LLC over a five-year period, sending its shares up as much as 23 percent.

Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said the contract was “extremely large” for a company of Ascent Solar’s scale.

“It is their largest commercial sale ever by a huge margin. We are clearly talking about at least $150 million over the life of the contract. It is a very large order for a company that is still in the development stage.”

This is Ascent Solar’s second supply agreement in as many days. On Tuesday, the company, which develops thin-film solar modules that convert sunlight into electricity, signed a direct supply agreement for its “premier” modules.

Jefferies & Co analyst Paul Clegg said Wednesday’s deal was “very important” for Ascent as it was the company’s first building integrated supply agreement.

Building integrated photovoltaics, which companies like Ascent and Energy Conversion Devices Inc (ENER) make, can be built into the structure of a building.

“The deal that they announced yesterday was really small, only about a million dollars. This one’s really different, a very meaningful deal for them,” Clegg said.

The analyst said the initial value of the contract could be in the range of $70 million to $100 million, adding that the contract’s revenue contribution for 2010 could account for one-third or more of his $36 million revenue estimate for the year.

The company did not disclose financial terms of the transaction.

Ascent Solar is scheduled to begin shipments to Linden, New Jersey-based photovoltaic systems integrator TurtleEnergy from its Thornton, Colorado, manufacturing plant early next year.

Raymond James’ Molchanov said the contract would not bring in immediate revenue, since the company was not yet ready to produce in commercial quantities.

“However, starting in the middle of 2010, once production capacity ramps up, there is going to be very visible revenue generation from this contract,” he said.

Shares of Ascent Solar rose as much as 23 percent to a high of $8.58, before paring some gains to trade up about 18 percent at $8.25 Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

The stock was among the top percentage gainers Wednesday on Nasdaq. About 800,000 shares changed hands, six times the company’s 10-day moving average.

Ascent Solar Signs Multi-Year Supply Agreement with TurtleEnergy for up to 67 MW

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Wednesday September 23, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of flexible thin-film solar modules, announced today that it has signed a multi-year direct supply agreement with TurtleEnergy LLC, a premium photovoltaic (PV) systems integrator headquartered in Linden, New Jersey.

John Millard, founder of TurtleEnergy, stated, “Ascent Solar is well-positioned to reduce the cost of PV systems and enable introduction of innovative product solutions to the marketplace with its lightweight, flexible and high efficiency PV modules. This is a perfect compliment to our company as a leader in introducing new and unique value-added solutions for clients. Under our development agreement with Ascent Solar, we have gained considerable experience working with its product over the past ten months and are now pleased to become a customer as we plan to be the first solar systems integrator to come to market using our leading-edge approach using these materials.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Ascent Solar expects to deliver up to 67 MW of its high efficiency flexible CIGS photovoltaic modules during the five year contract period. Ascent Solar is scheduled to begin shipping products to TurtleEnergy from its Thornton, Colorado manufacturing plant early next year.

Ascent Solar President and CEO Farhad Moghadam added, “We believe that this order will help establish Ascent Solar in one of the fastest growing markets in the United States. We are focused on enabling companies like TurtleEnergy to address new market opportunities, add value to existing lines of business and set a higher performance standard for flexible PV. TurtleEnergy is an excellent partner to have in reaching our new target markets.”

About TurtleEnergy LLC:

TurtleEnergy LLC combines extensive design and systems engineering experience with a uniquely advantageous relationship with its parent company, Turtle & Hughes, drawing from its relationship to some 3,000 members of the electrical installation community. TurtleEnergy has access to the best-of-breed photovoltaic components, and the leading professional contractor field teams operating in the electrical industry today. TurtleEnergy is located in Linden, New Jersey. Additional information for Turtle Energy can be found at http://www.turtleenergy.com.

September 22, 2009

Ascent Solar shares rise more than 8 pct on new supply deal with Goal Zero

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 3:44 pm

Tuesday September 22, 2009, 3:44 pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (ASTI) rose on Tuesday on news the solar module maker signed a supply deal with Goal Zero LLC.

Shares rose 53 cents, or 8.3 percent, to $6.91 in afternoon trading.

Ascent agreed to supply Goal Zero — a subsidiary of Provo Craft and Novelty Inc. — with up to 30,700 units of its “Premier” module through 2010.

Rodman & Renshaw analyst Amit Dayal said he views this move as a positive step toward the company’s expected commercialization of its thin film technology. Additionally, Dayal said company has a significant advantage over its peers.

“We believe the company is one of the only public plays that is close to commercializing flexible thin-film solar photovoltaic modules based on a proprietary COGS technology using a low cost manufacturing process,” Dayal said as he maintained a “Market Outperform” rating, with a $10 price target.

Ascent Solar Signs Portable Power Product Supply Agreement

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Tuesday September 22, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of state of the art flexible thin-film solar modules, announced today that it has signed a direct supply agreement with Goal Zero LLC, a subsidiary of Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc., a consumer products company located in Utah. Under the terms of the agreement, Ascent Solar will supply up to 30,700 units of its “Premier” module through 2010. The modules have been designed for incorporation into a custom electronic portable power application scheduled to arrive on the market at the beginning of next year.

Robert Workman, Chief Development Officer of Provo Craft, stated “For over forty years, our mission at Provo Craft has been to inspire creativity by providing the best products, tools, education, ideas, and customer service. Our subsidiary Goal Zero LLC is bringing energy products to market that utilize Ascent Solar’s lightweight, flexible and high efficiency photovoltaic (PV) modules. Ascent Solar’s modules are advantageous for our modular, system level power solutions that we will be marketing worldwide early next year.”

Ascent Solar president and CEO Farhad Moghadam added “Electronic and portable power applications are a natural end product use of our material. Provo Craft is an excellent customer to have given their established presence as a recognized marketing leader, and Goal Zero LLC is well positioned to bring our modules to the international marketplace. We expect this to be the first of many ways that Ascent Solar can further differentiate itself from other traditional solar manufacturers.”

About Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc., and Goal Zero LLC:

Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc. was founded in 1964 and is based in Spanish Fork, Utah. Provo Craft had sales at about $250 million for 2008 and its revenue has increased 38 percent over the past two years. Provo Craft manufactures and distributes craft, hobby, and education products for school projects, as well as portable batteries, battery packs, and solar briefcases. Its products are sold in countries around the world, including Australia, Taiwan, France, and Brazil. Goal Zero LLC is a subsidiary of Provo Craft and Novelty, Inc. Additional information can be found at http://www.provocraft.com.

September 3, 2009

SkySentry Receives Lightweight Flexible CIGS Array from Ascent Solar Technologies

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 7:00 am

Thursday September 3, 2009, 7:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of state of the art flexible thin-film solar modules, announced today that SkySentry, a high altitude vehicle developer headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, received their first flexible CIGS PV array for an upcoming aerostat test in Sandusky, Ohio, scheduled for mid-September, 2009. The aerostat is part of Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s High Altitude, Long-Endurance Testbed.

Charles Lambert, President and CEO of SkySentry, stated, “Power production and storage are the most difficult challenge of operating stationary vehicles for lengthy periods in the stratosphere. This test will use an aerostat, a tethered blimp, to characterize performance of a solar array on a dynamic platform, understand the performance of thin film arrays on a buoyant vehicle in terms of temperature and impact on an inflated substrate, determine the consistency of solar output for high altitude applications and quantify the effect of clouds and variable weather on performance of an aerostat-mounted array.” Corollary benefits include comparing high efficiency solar array deployments on aerostats as primary or supplementary power generation with other technologies such as off-shore power generation with wind turbines.

Ascent Solar president and CEO Farhad Moghadam added, “This shipment represents our first delivery of flexible monolithically integrated CIGS PV specifically for airship experimentation. SkySentry’s testing of our photovoltaics on the aerostat, along with advanced power management, will demonstrate their approach towards an important application for national security and surveillance applications.”

About SkySentry LLC:

SkySentry LLC is a Service-disabled, veteran-owned Colorado-based small business, widely acknowledged as a national leader in the investigation and development of the high altitude operating environment for communications and surveillance. SkySentry aids High Altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) development in the areas of policy, doctrine, and operations concepts growth; research and development of vehicles, subsystems and payloads; characterizing vehicle and payload performance through advanced modeling and simulation; and field testing of payloads and architectures. Additional information can be found at http://www.SkySentry.net.

August 26, 2009

Ascent Solar Internally Certifies Module Encapsulation Material for Its Flexible PV Laminate, Reaches Major Milestone

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Wednesday August 26, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of state of the art flexible thin-film solar modules, announced today the successful internal qualification of a packaging solution for its flexible monolithically integrated CIGS modules. In internal qualification testing, its flexible packaging solution successfully passed the rigorous standard of one thousand (1,000) hours of damp heat testing (85% relative humidity and 85° C temperature) guideline set forth by IEC 61646 standards for performance and long term reliability of thin film solar modules.

Dr. Farhad Moghadam, CEO of Ascent Solar, stated, “This is a breakthrough development not just for Ascent Solar but also for the advancement of flexible CIGS technology and the differentiating capabilities it brings to the market. We are very proud of this achievement which now sets the stage for certification of our products by external agencies. This is also well timed to meet the requirements of our initial production from the 30 MW high volume manufacturing plant scheduled to commence at the beginning of 2010.”

August 21, 2009

Jefferies Turns Cautious; Downgrades Many Stocks

Filed under: ASTI, CSUN, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SOLF, SPWR, STP, WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 9:31 am

Posted by Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Jefferies & Co. analyst Paul Clegg this morning turned cautious on the solar sector, slicing his ratings on many companies in the sector.

A key issue, Clegg writes in a research note, is that the downward spiral in pricing is likely to continue. “While accompanied by reduced production costs, we believe this could lead to weaker-than-expected 2010 ests and concerns about value destruction in the sector,” he writes. ” In our view, liberal Chinese lending practices encourage over-production and capacity expansions in a market that needs rationalization.”

Clegg concedes that falling prices bring the market closer to grid parity, but he adds that the slide could also trigger political backlash to government incentives, as European PV makers get hurt by Chinese competition with the help of European tax-payer and rate-payer money. While end markets are showing signs of improvement, he adds, “they are slow and do not appear ready to support the levels of volume production being planned for 2010.”

Clegg adds that even if falling silicon prices help solar companies maintain unit gross margins, “lower ASPs make them more dependent on chasing volumes to support the marketing and distribution networks necessary to drive growth.”

The Jefferies analyst sees ASPs down 20%-25% by Q4 from Q2, with another 15%-20% drop by Q4 2010.

Here’s a rundown on his downgrades today:

* Ascent Solar (ASTI): To Underperform from Hold.
* China Sunergy (CSUN): To Underperform from Hold.
* Energy Conversion Devices (ENER): To Underperform from Hold.
* Evergreen Solar (ESLR): To Underperform from Buy.
* First Solar (FSLR): To Hold from Buy.
* Solarfun (SOLF): To Underperform from Hold.
* SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB): To Hold from Buy.
* Suntech (STP): To Underperform from Hold.
* MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR): Maintains Buy rating.

Jefferies downgrades 8 solar companies on pricing, other concerns

Filed under: ASTI, CSUN, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SOLF, SPWR, STP, WFR — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:47 am

Friday August 21, 2009, 8:47 am EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — Jefferies & Co. lowered its ratings on eight solar companies Friday, citing numerous risks that could play out in the coming months, including a continuation of falling prices.

In reports to clients, Jefferies noted that a continued downward spiral in pricing, while accompanied by lower production costs, may lead to weaker-than-expected estimates for 2010 and concerns about value destruction in the solar sector.

“Liberal Chinese lending practices encourage overproduction and capacity expansions in a market that needs rationalization, in our view,” Jefferies analyst Paul Clegg said.

Evergreen Solar Inc. (ESLR) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Buy.” Jefferies also lowered its price target to $1 from $3. Jefferies said Evergreen’s low silicon usage advantage has been obscured by high manufacturing costs and pricey silicon contracts.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR) was downgraded to “Hold” from “Buy.” Jefferies also lowered its price target to $130 from $200. It noted, however, that it expects First Solar’s cost structure to remain the lowest in the industry even if silicon prices continue to decline.

Solarfun Power Holdings Co. (SOLF) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and the price target was cut to $4 from $6.

Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ENER) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and the firm set a price target of $8. Jefferies noted Energy Conversion has a unique product and market niche, but analysts remain concerned about weak demand.

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc. (ASTI) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold.” Jefferies’ said its $4 price target reflects increased investor risk tolerance.

China Sunenergy Co. Ltd. (CSUN) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and trimmed its price target to $3.50 from $4. “Despite strong cell technology and a stable liquidity position, we believe CSUN’s strategic position in only one segment of the value chain could become a more notable disadvantage in an increasingly competitive environment,” Jefferies noted.

SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB) was downgraded to “Hold” from “Buy” and its price target was lowered to $30 from $35. Jefferies said SunPower’s diverse and flexible business model bodes well for its market-share prospects in a recovery.

Suntech Power Holdings (STP) was downgraded to “Underperform” from “Hold” and its price target was trimmed to $12 from $14. “STP is positioned to generate rapid growth in key (markets) and to remain a leader on cost and quality,” Jefferies said.

In another report, Jefferies maintained its “Buy” rating on MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR). The company’s “very strong balance sheet” positions it well “as a survivor and potential consolidator,” analysts said.

July 8, 2009

Ascent Solar Exceeds 10% Module Efficiency Milestone

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 7:00 am

Wednesday July 8, 2009, 7:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of state-of-the-art flexible thin-film solar modules, today announced that it has achieved its initial target module efficiency goal of 10.0% for its flexible Copper, Indium, Gallium, Selenide (CIGS) monolithically integrated modules.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has independently verified that the modules measured as high as 10.4% in conversion efficiency. The modules tested at NREL were standard 429 cm2 modules produced by the company’s 1.5MW production line that was put into commercial production in the first quarter of 2009.

Dr. Prem Nath, Sr. Vice President of Production Operations for Ascent Solar, stated, “This is a significant breakthrough in demonstrating our ability to manufacture monolithically integrated flexible CIGS modules with greater than 10% module efficiency in commercial production. Ascent’s high-volume 30MW commercial plant is scheduled to commence initial production at the beginning of 2010. Module efficiency of 10.0% is a vital element for our low-cost-per-watt manufacturing goal in high volume and will establish Ascent Solar as a leader in the production of lightweight flexible photovoltaics used for portable power and building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products.”

Dr. Harin S. Ullal, Senior Project Manager for the National Center for Photovoltaics at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, stated, “Ascent Solar has made progress in advancing the state-of-the-art flexible, lightweight thin-film CIGS PV technology. NREL has independently verified module conversion efficiency of more than 10.0% for several thin-film CIGS monolithically integrated modules deposited on flexible, lightweight plastic substrates.”

About National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development (R&D). NREL is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

July 2, 2009

J.P. Morgan Upgrades ASTI, ESLR, SPWRA; Downgrades FSLR; Starts ENER With Overweight

Filed under: ASTI, ENER, ESLR, FSLR, SPWR — Tags: , , , , , — Jason @ 10:41 am

Posted by Eric Savitz
barrons.com

J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Blansett this morning shuffled his ratings on some solar stocks, advising investors to “shift to a more defensive stance.” For the second half, he expects “an uncertain landscape for solar energy companies with both positive and negative forces in play that are likely to cause solar energy stock prices performance to be choppy and relatively range bound.”

Here’s a rundown on his revised ratings:

* Energy Conversion Devices (ENER): Launches with Overweight rating. “We think the company is currently trading like a value stock while participating in a high-growth industry.” He writes ENER has been one of the most aggressive in cutting capital spending and conserving cash, “causing us to believe the stock has limited downside risk.”
* Evergreen Solar (ESLR): Upgraded to Overweight from Underweight, “as there appear to be few expectations built into this stock.” He asserts that the stock trades at a significant discount to peer module makers due to its historical poor product development performance, but that the company’s new Devens facility is operating smoothly, allowing ESLR to participate in the next demand upturn and perform at least in line with peer module makers.
* Ascent Solar (ASTI): Upgraded to Neutral from Underweight, “as the company looks to be ahead of schedule in terms of product development. A new focus on military and aerospace applications is “very positive as it allows Ascent to sell high-margin products with little competition,” although he adds that “risk still remains as the company has yet to ramp into full production.”
* First Solar (FSLR): Downgraded To Neutral, from Overweight. “We the current stock price does not reflect a potential negative margin reset or the possibility Germany could make a larger than scheduled subsidy reduction in 2010,” he writes. The analyst worries that crystalline silicon module makers who are benefiting from low poly prices will continue to price aggressively, even at their own cash costs.
* SunPower (SPWRA, SPWRB): Upgraded to Neutral from Underweight. “SunPower will benefit from lower poly costs and a rebound in the U.S. market, but is spending excessive cap ex in our view and is fighting a declining module ASP trend.”

In today’s trading:

* ENER is up $1.12, or 7.78%, to $15.44.
* ESLR is up 29 cents, or 13.5%, to $2.44.
* ASTI is up 15 cents, or 1.9%, to $8.05.
* FSLR is up 50 cents, or 0.3%, to $155.79.
* SPWRA is down 41 cents, or 1.5%, to $26.65.

June 22, 2009

US Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall Visit Ascent Solar to Discuss Colorado Job Creation in the New Energy Economy

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Press Conference Highlights Ascent Solar’s Plans to Create 200 New Jobs in State at New Manufacturing Facility

Monday June 22, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of state of the art flexible thin-film solar modules, hosted a press conference and facility tour Saturday for the Honorable Michael Bennet and the Honorable Mark Udall, U.S. Senators for Colorado, at the company’s world headquarters in Thornton, Colo. Joined by Ascent Solar employees, the Senators highlighted the potential for job creation in the New Energy Economy as evidenced by the company’s growth to date.

“Companies like Ascent Solar are helping Colorado become a national leader in the clean energy economy,” Senator Bennet said. “They are providing new energy options that also create new, good-paying jobs right here at home and help move Colorado and our economy forward.”

Bennet and Udall cited Ascent Solar’s breakthrough photovoltaic technology achievements and its plans to create 200 new jobs for Colorado’s New Energy Economy over the next several months. In March, the company opened its new facility and announced its planned 30 megawatt (MW) capacity manufacturing lines that will produce solar modules that can power homes, commercial buildings and consumer devices, among other applications.

“Ascent Solar is proud to be at the heart of Colorado’s renewable energy industry growth,” said Dr. Mohan Misra, Ascent Solar’s chairman and CEO. “Our company is benefiting from renewable energy tax incentives from the Recovery Act to fuel job creation and economic growth in the state.”

Ascent Solar expanded from its existing Littleton, Colo., facility, where its 1.5 MW capacity manufacturing line currently produces fully integrated lightweight thin-film CIGS modules using a flexible plastic substrate. The company is working with its partners to develop products that include building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) that can be part of rooftops, awnings and siding, for example, to provide solar power.

June 15, 2009

Ascent Solar Manufactures Light Weight Flexible 5 Meter CIGS Based PV Laminate

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 7:00 am

Module’s Size and Efficiency Make It A Breakthrough for Photovoltaics

Monday June 15, 2009, 7:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of state-of-the-art, flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules, announced that the company has manufactured a monolithically interconnected 5 meter long flexible light weight module on a polyimide substrate.

Ascent Solar Sr. Vice President for Production Operations Dr. Prem Nath stated, “This is the largest monolithically interconnected CIGS module on polyimide and may be the largest of any CIGS module regardless of construction. The size and efficiency of this module make it a breakthrough for the emerging opportunities of flexible CIGS photovoltaic modules.”

The CIGS based thin film material used in this module was manufactured using the company’s unique 1.5 MW roll-to-roll manufacturing line. The module was encapsulated during the testing and qualification of equipment that will be used for its 30 MW plant under construction. Based on internal test and evaluation, this 5M long module weighs 2 kilograms and produces 123 watts (under standard test conditions) with an aperture area efficiency of 9.1%. This length is a baseline for the company’s development of large area flexible building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products with our strategic BIPV partners.

June 9, 2009

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. Selected for Solar America Initiative Pre-Incubator Program

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Tuesday June 9, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer manufacturer of state of the art flexible thin-film solar modules, announced today that it has been selected for negotiations for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Photovoltaic (PV) Technology Pre- Incubator project award. The new subcontract from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) represents approximately $315,000 of subcontract value over a 12-month period, pending negotiations. Funding for the PV Technology Pre-Incubator program comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The proposed effort involves using a zinc-magnesium-oxide (ZnMgO) deposited by Ascent’s proprietary process in order to replace the standard window layer of a copper-indium-gallium-(di)selenide (CIGS) device, and eventually, replacing all the top layers of the device. Use of ZnMgO could potentially improve the performance and reduce the cost of AST’s CIGS product, as well as provide another piece of the puzzle towards developing the next generation of CIGS products.

Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technical Officer of Ascent Solar, stated, “We are very pleased that the DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have selected us for this award. This program builds upon our existing ongoing internal research and development in this area, and has heritage back to our work on multijunction devices with the United States Missile Defense Agency and the United States Air Force. Successful completion of this program can significantly change how our existing devices are completed in the near future, and can have positive impact upon the manufacturing process in terms of reduced capital expenditures in setting up a facility, as well as reduction in the overall manufacturing cost of our product.”

June 2, 2009

Ascent Solar: Merriman Cuts Rating On Slowing Mfg Ramp

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 11:36 am

Posted by Eric Savitz
barrons.com

Ascent Solar (ASTI) shares are trading lower today after Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Brion Tanous cut his rating on the thin-film solar module company to Neutral from Buy.

Tanous says the company could become “a low cost leader” with a “highly differentiated” solar product based on CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) technology. But he also notes that the company is slowing a planned capacity ramp to conserve cash, pushing out the start of meaningful revenue into 2011. He notes that the company now expects to have 15 MW of capacity in 2010, down from previous forecasts of 30 MW.

Tanous now sees a 2009 loss of 81 cents a share, versus 67 cents previously. For 2010, he now sees a loss of 10 cents a share; his previous forecast was for a profit of 31 cents.

June 1, 2009

What is thin-film solar power?

Filed under: ASTI, DSTI, ENER, FSLR, GE — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 1:41 pm

Mon Jun 1, 2009 1:41pm EDT

LOS ANGELES, June 1 (Reuters) – Solar panels made with little or no polysilicon, broadly known as thin-film, could lose their competitive advantage over silicon-based modules because prices of polysilicon have plunged since last year.

*Thin film solar panels are less efficient at transforming sunlight into electricity than the traditional crystalline silicon panels that dominate the market. They are generally lower in cost, however, because they do not rely on polysilicon, the price of which had skyrocketed in recent years.

*In 2008, thin film represented about 20 percent of the photovoltaic solar market, or about 1.16 gigawatts.

*Three technologies fall under the thin film umbrella: amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide, or CIGS.

*Amorphous silicon panels use about 1 percent of the silicon needed for traditional panels. Its comparative thinness is enabling amorphous-silicon panels to be integrated into buildings, including doubling as roof shingles.

Top manufacturers include U.S.-based Energy Conversion Devices Inc (ENER) and Japan’s Kaneka Corp, Sharp Corp and Sanyo.

*Cadmium telluride is the semiconductor material used in panels made by thin film industry leader First Solar Inc (FSLR). Cadmium telluride’s success has come from its low cost, despite efficiencies that lag silicon-based competitors.

Other cadmium telluride panel makers include privately-held U.S. company Abound Solar and General Electric Co (GE)-backed PrimeStar Solar Inc, which has yet to begin commercial production.

*CIGS is a compound semiconductor material made of copper, indium, gallium and selenium. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory said last year they had set a new efficiency record of 19.9 percent for CIGS cells, nearing the record for crystalline silicon cells. However, no company has neared efficiency in the factory.

CIGS manufacturers include Ascent Solar Technologies Inc (ASTI), DayStar Technologies Inc (DSTI) and privately-held Solyndra, Global Solar, and Nanosolar, which is backed by Google (GOOG) founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Sources: New Energy Finance, U.S. Department of Energy

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

May 26, 2009

Ascent Solar Modules to Be Designed into the Development of Hybrid Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Tuesday May 26, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

THORNTON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), announced that its state-of-the-art, flexible thin-film photovoltaic modules will be designed into the development of a hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle (H-UAV) called the Silent Sentinel developed by Bye Aerospace, Inc. The H-UAV will be designed primarily for military use; however, its capabilities will also include a broad spectrum of civil applications.

The first of its kind hybrid utilizes stored electric power, thin film solar photovoltaics (PV), and other technologies to enhance its endurance, quiet operations and low emissions. Bye Aerospace is teamed with thin film PV manufacturer Ascent Solar to develop the solar energy capability on the aircraft. For primary propulsion the hybrid UAV will be coupled with an advanced Williams International FJ33 turbofan. The efficient engine will provide the UAV remarkable climb rates and high altitude quick access to areas requiring surveillance.

Charlie Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of Bye Aerospace, said the Silent Sentinel is a robust, long-range UAV that will incorporate several proprietary clean energy features. “Ultimately, it will provide advanced tactical reconnaissance functionality while utilizing a uniquely long endurance, highly capable tactical sensor platform that is operationally stealthy and cost-effective to operate. The unique characteristics of the Ascent Solar flexible modules allow us to design this UAV to become very energy efficient.”

Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technical Officer of Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. stated, “Our flexible, monolithically integrated CIGS PV technology offers the ideal combination of low weight, higher voltage, and high performance that makes it ideal for applications such as the Silent Sentinel, and we look forward to providing Bye Aerospace the materials they require for their vehicle.”

Potential military applications include border patrol, search and rescue, visual and thermal reconnaissance, and forward air control. In addition, potential civil applications include traffic control, pipeline and power line inspection, aerial law enforcement, forest fire detection and aerial photography. Initial meetings are being conducted with US Government entities regarding the capabilities of the aircraft. More are planned in the near term.

About Bye Aerospace, Inc.
Bye Aerospace, founded in 2007 and headquartered near Denver, is applying clean energy solutions to innovative aircraft design for the business aviation and Department of Defense markets. For more information, go to http://www.ByeAerospace.com.

April 23, 2009

Bye Aerospace, Inc. Announces Memorandum of Understanding with Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc.

Filed under: ASTI — Tags: , , — Jason @ 6:00 am

Thursday April 23, 2009, 6:00 am EDT

LITTLETON, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (ASTI), a developer of state-of-the-art flexible thin-film solar modules, announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to incorporate thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology into aircraft platforms under development at Bye Aerospace.

George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, commended Ascent Solar for its superior technology and how well its products align with Bye Aerospace’s strategy. “We are planning to utilize multiple sources of energy, and Ascent Solar’s PV technology is an ideal solution for capturing valuable solar energy,” Bye said. Bye Aerospace, working in conjunction with its subsidiary company, Bye Energy, Inc., is adapting alternative energy technology for aviation. “We hope to begin bench testing with Ascent Solar’s thin film PV technology before year end,” Bye said.

Dr. Joseph Armstrong, Chief Technical Officer of Ascent Solar, stated, “Applications such as those being developed by Bye Aerospace are able to utilize the many advantages of our high-performance CIGS on polyimide PV technology such as monolithic integration, low mass and flexibility for conformal installation. These advantages allow our product to adapt to many applications, from aerospace to building integrated PV (BIPV), portable power and consumer electronics, and our work with Bye represents one of many development agreements we have to meet customer needs. Products to support Bye Aerospace will be manufactured from our existing 1.5MW production line.”

About Bye Aerospace, Inc.

Bye Aerospace, founded in 2007 and headquartered near Denver, is applying clean energy solutions to innovative aircraft design for the business aviation and Department of Defense markets. For more information, go to http://www.ByeAerospace.com.

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