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DENVER-Ascent Solar Technologies has acquired a 120,000-sf industrial building near here that will become its world headquarters and commercial manufacturing facility. The publicly traded developer of flexible solar panels known as thin-film photovoltaic modules will invest upward of $70 million renovating and outfitting the facility, which it acquired for approximately $5.5 million.

Ascent is currently headquartered in 15,000 sf in Littleton, CO. The new facility, located near Interstate 25 in Thornton, just north of Downtown Denver, will allow it to create the first of several 25MW solar module production lines. The first line is expected to be ready for the production of commercial products by year-end 2009. The company plans to expand its capacity to 100 MW by 2011.

The state provided loan assistance for the plant purchase and will offer the company new-employee training incentives. The company expects to grow to 100 employees by the end of the year from 35 today, and expects to be employing 300 by 2010. The company expects to move its headquarters into the new facility this fall.

The company’s stock rose dramatically last fall after Norsk Hydro, a Norwegian provider of building materials and a large investor in Ascent, unveiled a curtain that incorporates the thin-film modules, generating electricity while providing shade. Other products are reportedly under development.

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