Norsk Hydro to purchase $5 million of Ascent Solar’s common stock

Joe McCabe, vice president of business development in Ascent Solar Technologies, displays the company's flexible, thin-film solar module. Photo:

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTI) today (Oct. 1) 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.

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.

About Ascent Solar

Hydro is 35 per cent part-owner of the solar energy company Ascent Solar, a producer of super-thin, flexible solar cell modules based in Colorado in the US.

Ascent Solar’s cells are extremely thin. The active layers which convert sunlight into electricity are no more than three micrometers thick (three-thousandths of a millimeter), while conventional solar cells are 200 micrometers thick. Ascent Solar manufactures its thin film solar cells by a process in which copper, indium, gallium and selenide (CIGS) are layered on a flexible plastic foil which is then encapsulated in a protective material. The result is that the cells are flexible, enabling application to rolled or uneven surfaces, in addition to more conventional uses.

This flexibility makes the Ascent Solar cells particularly suitable to construction systems. Hydro is already actively involved in the development of building integrated PV products, where PV thin-film is integrated in Hydro Building System’s windows and facades.

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