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Solar CIGS partnership between Ascent and TFG Radiant

Ascent Solar of Colorado, USA, and China's TFG Radian Group have entered a US$450 million long-term strategic partnership for copper indium gallium diselendie (CIGS) solar photovoltaic (PV) production in East Asia.

By Kari Williamson

Under the agreement TFG will invest in Ascent and the two companies will jointly develop solar CIGS manufacturing facilities in East Asia.

The solar CIGS agreement, which is initially worth US$275m plus royalties will in addition see the investment of US$165m for an initial East Asia manufacturing facility with a capacity of around 100 MW, bringing the total to over US$450m plus royalties. The royalties could be worth over US$250m over several years, Ascent says.

Ascent is exclusively licensing its solar CIGS production technology to TFG. The Colorado-based company will also develop a next generation solar PV production line in Colorado.

“This partnership is transformative in nature. It is based on the complementary expertise of TFG Radian, in metal roofing and construction in one of the world's largest markets, and Ascent, in market leading flexible CIGS technology,” says Dr Amit Kumar, Chairman of Ascent.

“This partnership enables Ascent to pursue the building integration and building applied photovoltaic markets with a partner that will finance and drive manufacturing, sales, marketing, and distribution and installation. Ascent will receive ownership in offshore FABs, and a royalty that will drop directly to our bottom line. Ascent will continue to develop and serve the premium markets through its current and future plans in the US. We will also seek similar partnerships for other geographies. Strategically, this type of partnership enables us to focus on R&D, and product and plant development, while our partners focus on scale up, cost reduction and commercialisation.”

Ascent's CEO and President, Ron Eller, adds: “[TFG] bring expertise in innovative roof design and materials, balance of system design, volume manufacturing, and broad access to the East Asian markets. While we continue to ramp our current Colorado FABs, this arrangement enables us to work with a key partner to build the first non-U.S. and largest CIGS FAB based on Ascent’s unique, flexible, monolithically integrated technology. TFG Radiant has the market leadership, distribution channels, installation capability and infrastructure, and established and highly motivated customer base that will accelerate the market for Ascent’s CIGS products in East Asia. TFG Radiant’s major financial and strategic commitments to this alliance are a strong endorsement of Ascent’s flexible CIGS technology.”

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