Ascent Solar Lands Pilot Program at Foxconn
Ascent Solar, a thin-film manufacturer based in Thornton, Colo., has penned an agreement to provide solar panels to major electronics manufacturer Foxconn in China.
The agreement is for a small pilot project, said Ascent president and CEO Victor Lee.
Foxconn is the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, producing items like the iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Playstation and Xbox.
Ascent’s shares surged on news of the newly formed partnership.
“This is a very, very simple pilot project,” Lee said. “They have a canvas-type roof like at the Denver International Airport, which makes traditional solar not applicable.”
While Ascent Solar’s thin-film is being applied on the manufacturing facility itself, analysts see the new partnership as an indicator of potential for future deals where Ascent Solar’s technology could be incorporated into some of the consumer electronics Foxconn produces.
Ascent’s technology uses flexible substrates that it says can be integrated into building materials, commercial transportation, automotive solutions, space applications and consumer electronics for portable power and off-grid solutions.
“This is exciting,” Lee said, “because Foxconn is a huge company and employer in China with hundreds of thousands of employees.”
For right now, Foxconn is only using Ascent Solar’s technology for power generation at its manufacturing plant and Lee said there are no plans for integrating the technology into the consumer electronics products it builds.
“They nailed down Ascent as the most suitable for its roof application,” he said.
Nevertheless, the stock responded to the arrangement. And Foxconn clearly has researched Ascent and knows enough about the company to have selected it for this pilot project.
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