AQT talked a good game and the management had a positive attitude. But hype and hope won't pay the bills in today's solar industry.
According to VentureWire, Sunnyvale, California-based AQT "has retained Gerbsman Partners to handle the sale of its assets and intellectual property."
AQT is amongst the long list of CIGS solar aspirants. All had vastly different technical approaches, but seemingly almost all will have similar fates -- either closing shop or selling at a loss to an Asian rescuer. Solyndra is dead, MiaSolé is searching for a partner, HelioVolt found SK Innovations, Ascent Solar found its own white knight in TFG Radiant, Nanosolar is quietly floundering, Global Solar Energy has sold off its solar panel assets. Solibro has changed ownership; Soltecture declared insolvency. Solar Frontier, Stion, SoloPower, and a few others CIGS players are soldiering on in this materials system but still don't meet the price and performance of silicon photovoltaics.
The promise of CIGS in the minds of entrepreneurs and investors did not take into account sub-$1.00 per watt selling prices for c-Si solar panels in an over-capacity market with an unsure subsidy regime.
AQT had been working in the CZTS materials system as well.
The firm had raised about $30 million since its founding and its business plan was fluid. The company was building CIGS solar cells on glass, but also aspired to build panels, as well as to form partnerships in the solar project development business. We're waiting for a comment from AQT.
AQT’s production facility housed a 15-megawatt manufacturing line based on automated dry sputtering equipment from Intevac. The intention was to manufacture "low-cost CIGS cells that are drop-in replacements for conventional crystalline silicon cells," according to the CEO, Michael Bartholomeusz, in an earlier interview.
AQT claimed strong technical results. Others have intimated that progress was less than stellar at the firm.