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Center Research

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The Center carries out research to enable higher performance and lower-cost solar cells; improved reliability of PV components and systems; develop new or effective ways to recycle end-of-life solar panels; inform the creation of a circular solar power economy; develop creative new approaches to land use in both rural and urban environments; integrate emerging storage technologies with solar power generation to alleviate problems of intermittency and variability; address techno-economic and socio-economic challenges; and identify new approaches to solar-powered electrification of transportation and heating/cooling sectors. 


Members have access to:

  • Major savings on institutional overhead charges. Indirect Costs (i.e., overhead) is limited to 10% by the NSF IUCRC program.  The institutional IDC rate is 58.5%.  A $50,000 research grant to UT Austin provides $45,459 of direct research funding to a project vs. $31,645—a cost-savings of $13,814 for each $50,000 of research funding.

  • Members access a large pool of research funding.  All members have access to IP generated in the Center. NSF provides $100,000 per year + the member pool of $1,000,000-$2,000,000 per year.

  • Access to additional NSF supplemental funding.  NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program eligibility and NSF INTERN program that provides $50,000 to support a 6 month PhD student internship.

  • Future workforce. Access to PhD students that could be future employees.  The opportunity to help identify talent and shape their training.  Identification of students for internships.

  • Networking.  SPF2050 supports research across the entire solar power industry value chain, providing members with opportunities to gain insights that could benefit their business.

  • Access to world-class solar power research teams and their extensive research networks across many universities, national labs, international partnerships and industry partners.

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