Skip to main content

Distributed Energy Resources Test Facility

NREL's Distributed Energy Resources Test Facility (DERTF) is a working laboratory for interconnection and systems integration testing. This state-of-the-art facility includes generation, storage, and interconnection technologies as well as electric power system equipment capable of simulating a real-world electric system.

Photo of the Distributed Energy Resources Test Facility and an adjacent solar photovoltaic array.

The Distributed Energy Resources Test Facility is located at the National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado.

Take a virtual tour of the DERTF.

Researchers at the facility can vary equipment configurations and introduce common electrical disturbances such as sags, swells, and harmonic issues on the replica grid. These capabilities allow them to evaluate the real-time dynamics of distributed power systems, collect information about the long-term performance of such systems, and test new design concepts.

Data from tests at the facility are used to characterize distributed energy resource equipment and support the development and validation of interconnection standards and certification tests. These results can lead to better equipment, improvements to help equipment meet interconnection requirements, and a better understanding of the dynamics of equipment interconnected with the power grid. In addition, the facility is used by industry and academia for cooperative testing and characterization of developmental distributed energy systems.

NREL's DERTF is also the ideal location for examining the issues related to renewable energy sources and hydrogen production via the electrolysis of water. The facility offers the flexibility of interconnecting various renewable sources to electrolyzers and their hydrogen-producing stacks. NREL is testing integrated electrolysis systems and investigating options for improved designs that will lower capital costs and enhance performance of the naturally varying power input from renewable sources to the electrolyzer. Learn more about NREL's renewable electrolysis research and the wind-to-hydrogen project, which uses electricity from wind turbines and solar panels to produce hydrogen.

For more information about the Distributed Energy Resources Test Facility, contact Bill Kramer by email or by phone at 303-275-3844.