Ascent Solar Technologies, (Nasdaq: ASTI) (“ASTI” ), the leading U.S. innovator in the design and manufacture of featherweight, flexible, and durable CIGS thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solutions, announced that the Company is pursuing several opportunities for federal funding through the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Small Business Administration, with determination and allocation scheduled for 2024.
With applications and concept papers submitted and well-received in Q4 2023, Ascent is prepared to lead groundbreaking research primarily in agrivoltaics and on-orbit manufacturing, as well as the development and manufacturing of advanced solar cells should the proposals be selected for funding. The Company plans to do this both individually as well as in partnership with like-minded industry players whose technologies and manufacturing processes complement Ascent’s own unique capabilities. These and other partnerships discussions are already underway.
As encouraged by the DOE, Ascent applied for Silicon Solar Manufacturing and Dual-Use Photovoltaics Incubator program funding on November 14, 2023, for the development of its innovative agrivoltaic technology that would bring solar power to more remote areas around the world and optimize dual land use. The Company has also been encouraged by the DOE to further submit for a Solar Energy Technologies Office Funding Notice: Advancing U.S. Thin-Film Solar Photovoltaics, as part of a team, for advanced PV research and development that would enable future commercialization.
“We’ve very optimistic about our recent technological breakthroughs and the increased research and commercialization opportunities that would come with the selection of our funding applications to these organizations,” said Paul Warley, CEO of Ascent Solar Technologies. “Further funding through programs such as the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy FOAs and SBIR grants would allow greater opportunities for the Ascent team to advance our cutting edge technologies and drive revenue. Thin-film is uniquely capable of achieving federal agency goals of innovative solar technology adoption to drive electrification and decarbonization of the energy sector.”
Ascent has a rich history of working with U.S. agencies for the development of solar capabilities, as well as deep research of CIGS technology performance in unique environments. Past programs and partners include National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Airforce Research Laboratory (AFRL), Department of Energy, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Navy, and participation in several Small Business Innovation Research projects.
Ascent is well positioned in 2024 to lead and partner in federally funded research to further advance and commercialize innovative solar technologies. With significant efficiency improvements realized in Q4 of 2023 up to 17.72%, and additional technological development underway, Ascent has dedicated its 4.5MW facilities to large scale production of superior thin-film technology.