Ascent Solar expands its global reach

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Ascent Solar (NASDAQ:ASTI), a thin-film CIGS photovoltaic manufacturer based out of Thorton, Colo., announced a trio of new agreements in just over a week that expand the company’s international reach in Asia and Europe. The thin-film manufacturer specializes in flexible modules that can be used in remote and building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) applications.

Many photovoltaic companies are focused on developing utility-scale photovoltaic generation systems—particularly in the U.S.

“The U.S. is skewed toward the utility-scale. We’re not a utility-scale company,” said Ascent spokesperson Brian Blackman.

He said Ascent is more focused on consumers, small-scale remote solar systems, transportation and distributed-generation systems. As such, the majority of Ascent’s business is already international.

The recent announcements included an agreement with SW Solarwatt, allowing Ascent’s products to be sold in Greece and Cyprus; an agreement with Green Earth Energy and Technology, allowing the company’s products to be sold in a number of European countries including Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany; and an agreement with Polymeur Sun allowing Ascent’s photovoltaic products access to markets in Singapore and Malaysia.

The agreements with SW Solarwatt and Polymeur Sun will include both Ascent’s grid-connected and off-grid products. While the agreement with Green Earth Energy and Technology focuses on residential and commercial applications, like BIPV applications.

Looking forward, Ascent is likely to continue its global expansion. Blackman noted that the company first expanded internationally into India in 2007.

“[There’s] a greater need to power devices remotely there,” he said.

According to Blackman, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for remote solar applications in the world’s second most populous country. For instance, India could add 500 million cell phone subscribers in the near future, requiring 2,000 new antennas.

Solar power could both charge those mobile devices remotely and power the antennas.

Ascent anticipates growth in the U.S. market as well.

Blackman said that U.S. companies are buying its products for BIPV purposes, and the military is using some of its products for remote applications. He added that Ascent could also find more business in the U.S. as more people add solar to their rooftops.

Image courtesy of Ascent Solar.