GT Solar Monocast Silicon Material Achieves Record for Average Cell Efficiency Testing by Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology

Recent tests show average cell efficiencies of 18.8 percent with high exceeding 19 percent

MERRIMACK, N.H.--()--GT Solar International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLR), a global provider of polysilicon production technology, and sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and other specialty markets, today announced that researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated average cell efficiencies of 18.8% with highest efficiencies exceeding 19% on monocast silicon material grown in GT’s advanced ingot casting furnace.

“The results of our recent cell efficiency tests using monocast material provided by GT are well above the best large-area, screen-printed monocast material reported by anyone to date. It is a new record,” said Dr Ajeet Rohatgi, Regents Professor and Director of Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education. “These very exciting results demonstrate possible future potential cell efficiency gains PV manufacturers might achieve using monocast material and today’s advanced low-cost cell technologies.”

“The efficiency results announced by Dr. Rohatgi’s team on cells produced with our monocast material are very satisfying,” said Tom Gutierrez, president and CEO of GT Solar. “Our advanced technology team and material scientists have been focused on balancing casting furnace architecture with refined process techniques to produce material that demonstrates near monocrystalline silicon performance and leverages the low cost advantages of multicrystalline production. These recent results indicate we are making great progress in achieving this goal and we fully expect to offer this for commercial availability later in the year.”

GT continues to develop advanced crystallization growth technology that improves ingot quality and delivers value to its customers. When fully commercialized, the monocast crystalline growth technology will help PV manufacturers lower their costs and make solar technology more cost competitive with other forms of energy.

About GT Solar International, Inc.

GT Solar International, Inc. is a global provider of polysilicon production technology, and sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and other specialty markets. The company's products and services allow its customers to optimize their manufacturing environments and lower their cost of ownership. For additional information about GT Solar, please visit www.gtsolar.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements in this press release are forward-looking in nature, including statements regarding monocast material , expected cell efficiency results derived from recent testing and lower costs. These statements are based on management’s current expectations or beliefs. These forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the Company’s control, which could cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the statements. Factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements include the possibility that technological changes could render existing products or technologies obsolete, the Company may be unable to protect its intellectual property rights, competition from other manufacturers may increase, exchange rate fluctuations and conditions in the credit markets and economy may reduce demand for the Company’s products and various other risks as outlined in GT Solar International, Inc.’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the statements under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2010 filed on June 4, 2010, and the quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the third quarter of fiscal 2011filed on February 10, 2011. GT Solar International, Inc. is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Contacts

GT Solar
Media:
Jeff Nestel-Patt, 603-204-2883
jeff.nestelpatt@gtsolar.com
or
Investors/Analysts:
Ryan Blair, 603-681-3869
ryan.blair@gtsolar.com

Release Summary

Monocast silicon material from GT Solar sets cell efficiency record. Advanced silicon growth furnace produces monocast material.

Contacts

GT Solar
Media:
Jeff Nestel-Patt, 603-204-2883
jeff.nestelpatt@gtsolar.com
or
Investors/Analysts:
Ryan Blair, 603-681-3869
ryan.blair@gtsolar.com