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Thin-film solar panel maker Ascent Solar Technologies announced today that it’s going to repurpose its Thornton, Colorado, factory to accelerate industrial-scale commercialization of perovskite solar modules.

Perovskite solar cells use a thin film of perovskite to harvest light, and they have the potential to be a low-cost, power-conversion-efficient alternative to traditional silicon-based solar cells.

However, perovskite solar cells still have some stability, environmental, and scalability issues, but efforts to work out the kinks in recent years by such research groups as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have delivered promising results.

So the folks at Ascent have now decided that it’s time to take the next step forward, dedicating its Thornton factory to the development of perovskite solar cell manufacturing.

Ascent’s lightweight and flexible solar modules have been used in such applications as portable charging, unmanned aerial vehicles, and building-integrated photovoltaics, and it’s now going to convert its patent-pending perovskite solar technology to industrial scale.

The factory, which Ascent calls a “Perovskite Center of Excellence,” will feature R&D, manufacturing, and operations along with $30 million of industrial equipment.

Last week, Ascent announced that it’s signed an agreement to acquire manufacturing assets from a “leading European manufacturer of thin-film solar technology and a worldwide license of its intellectual property portfolio” for $5 million.

Jeffrey Max, president and CEO of Ascent Solar, said, “We’re fortunate that we have a manufacturing facility of this scope that we can dedicate to developing and delivering innovative Perovskite solar PV at scale… When translated to industrial scale, the efficiency gains we’ve recorded in the lab will be a game changer for the solar industry.”

Read more: Biden administration announces $56 million for US solar manufacturing

Photo: Ascent Solar/Twitter


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