2 March 2010


Ascent to supply FTL with modules for defense/disaster relief and portable power

Ascent Solar Technologies Inc of Thornton, CO, USA, which manufactures flexible thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules based on copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), has signed a strategic alliance supply agreement with FTL Solar LLC of Austin, TX, USA, which provides patent-pending lightweight solar structures and products that are claimed to be the world’s only pre-fabricated, mass-produced PV tensile structures. The agreement includes a minimum purchase commitment of $6.5m over a three-year period.

“FTL Solar is a US distributor for Ascent’s light weight photovoltaic (PV) modules for fabric awnings, airbeams, tents, tensile structures, sailboat sails, tarps and umbrellas,” says FTL Solar’s CEO Tony Saxton. “Integrated with Ascent’s high-output light-weight flexible modules, FTL Solar’s products are the optimal means for capturing electricity from sunlight, as well as providing second functions such as shelter,” he adds.

Picture: FTL Solar's tents with PV modules for outside military and disaster relief applications.

“We have hit the market with FTL Solar’s PowerMod tents with Ascent Solar PV modules ‘outside’ for military and tent rental industry sales, and with FTL Solar’s PowerFold hand-held battery chargers for military and consumer sales,” Saxton continues. “We see this as the beginning of an epochal change across all of the fabric structure industries... the fabric structure industry is going to become renewable electricity providers in the future in addition to being the flexible fabric product providers that they have traditionally been.”

FTL has committed to minimum purchases of $6.5m of flexible CIGS photovoltaic 2 meter and premier modules during the three-year contract period. Ascent is scheduled to begin shipments to FTL for market seeding of emerging market opportunities with their lightweight solar integrated tensile fabric product line. This specialty product line is intended to serve defense/disaster relief and the portable power segments (including awnings, fabric airbeams, fabric automobile covers, sailboat sails, tarps, tents, and umbrellas).

“FTL Solar has designed a world-class lightweight solar integrated tensile fabric product line,” comments Ascent Solar’s president & CEO Farhad Moghadam. “This contract represents sales velocity for specialty products that require certain customization and affirms our ability to demonstrate our breadth of integration,” he says.

Ascent’s product certification under MIL-STD 810G for defense applications in late February has opened up market potential in defense/disaster relief, with fabric integrated portable solar applications for both tent and personal portable power integration, Moghadam continues. “FTL Solar is at the forefront of changing the way solar can be utilized on a daily basis by defense, disaster relief agencies and consumers alike,” he adds. “Enabling products to be integrated with our unique lightweight CIGS photovoltaic modules is the foundation of Ascent’s market penetration of specialty products.”

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