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Hydro Makes Investment in Ascent Solar

Norsk Hydro ASA, today acquired 1,6 million shares of the common stock of Ascent Solar Technologies in a private placement as the precursor to a strategic relationship between the parties. The shares purchased represent approximately 23.0% of the total shares issued and outstanding after the sale. Hydro purchased the shares for $5.7725 per share, or $9,236,000 in the aggregate, representing a 25% premium on the average of the closing bid prices in the five trading days preceding the sale. Subject to shareholder approval, Norsk Hydro will be entitled to purchase up to an additional 12% of the outstanding shares of Ascent Solar's common stock (post-issuance) and a corresponding proportion of Class A and Class B Warrants.

With approximately 33,000 employees in nearly 40 countries, Hydro is one of the world's leading suppliers of energy and aluminum, and its building systems and aluminum division are among the largest in the world.

"Ascent Solar's flexible thin film is very exciting. Not only due to the low weight that makes the solar cells easy to transport, install and maintain, but also because flexible solar cells have a large number of potential applications in the future," says Jorgen C. Arentz Rostrup, who heads Hydro's market activities.

"It's our ambition to enhance our activities within solar and building systems. Ascent Solar is among the leading companies in thin film. We are therefore looking for opportunities to develop integrated building solutions together with Ascent Solar," says Rostrup.

The solar market is growing rapidly. Since 1998 there has been an annual growth of approximately 40 per cent in the market for conventional solar energy and it has been reported that the market for thin film technologies is growing at roughly 70 percent annually.

Ascent Solar President and CEO Matthew Foster said, "Our stated vision has been to see the day when building integrated photovoltaics will become pervasive and commonplace in the everyday lives of people throughout the world. There is no better opportunity than to work with one of the world's leading energy and building systems producers with operations in nearly forty countries to bring this vision to a reality. We are humbled and excited by the opportunity to make it happen with the Hydro team."

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