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Ascent Solar Soar with Massive DARPA Contract

June 23, 2010
DARPA awards Ascent with Multi-Million Dollar Contract through High-Efficiency Low-Cost Portable Photovoltaics (PoP) Program for Copper Indium Gallium (di)Selenide (CIGS) modules.

Ascent Solar Technologies will supply its flexible thin-film solar modules produced using CIGS technology to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Under the Low-Cost Lightweight Portable Photovoltaics (PoP) solicitation, the ASTI-led program, entitled “Flexible High-performance Tandem-junction PV Array”, consists of three gated phases, the first of which is 18 months and has an approximate contract value of $3.8M.

The entire program is anticipated to continue over the next 54 months. The goal of PoP is to demonstrate low-cost, lightweight photovoltaics (PV) that can stand up to battle conditions and environmental extremes while delivering a power conversion efficiency of 20% or greater by the end of the program.

ASTI leads a team of small businesses (ITN Energy Systems, Littleton, CO, Cambrios Technologies Company, Sunnyvale, CA, Brewer Science, Rolla, MO), large business (QinetiQ North America-TSG, Boston, MA) and academia (Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC), Newark, DE) partners to leverage their collective expertise with dedicated funding from DARPA to meet the highly aggressive goals of the PoP program.

“We are excited that DARPA selected our team for the PoP project,” stated Farhad Moghadam, President and CEO of Ascent Solar. ”In order to meet the aggressive goals of performance, capacity, and military toughness, our team has put together a definitive plan that combines our flexible CIGS production experience and existing MILSTD 810G military product, advanced high-temperature substrates from QinetiQ, the combined expertise in multijunction thin film technology from ASTI and IEC, films for optical and electrical enhancement from Brewer and Cambrios, and enhanced packaging technologies being developed by ITN and ASTI. The outcome of the program dovetails nicely with our existing technology improvement pathway for our flexible thin film monolithically integrated CIGS-based PV modules at 20% module efficiency for the Department of Defense (DoD).”
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