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Research Staff

NREL's transmission grid integration research staff work to incorporate renewable energy into the transmission system primarily through NREL's Power Systems Engineering Center.

Photo of Barbara O'Neill

Barbara O'Neill, Transmission and Grid Integration Group Manager

M.S., Energy Management and Policy, University of Pennsylvania
Engineering Diploma, Petroleum Economics and Management, French Institute of Petroleum
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Pratt Institute

Barbara has a diverse background with expertise in such fields as wind and solar project development, energy forecasting, renewable energy power purchase agreements, interconnection issues, market structures, and stakeholder engagement. Barbara currently manages the Transmission and Grid Integration group at NREL where she oversees short and long-term wind, solar, and water studies including everything from technical implementation of resources to regulatory and legislative shifts to accommodate a new energy future. Prior to joining NREL, Barbara worked as the Central regional director for EDF Renewable Energy where she oversaw hundreds of megawatts of wind and solar development. She also formerly worked at Xcel Energy in the Purchased Power group where she managed dozens of renewable contracts as well as negotiating purchased power agreements for numerous large-scale wind farms and the then-largest utility PV plant in the country. Formerly, she worked in generation modeling and managed the BaseCase modeling data software product for Platts McGraw-Hill.

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Alicia Allen

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
MS.E., Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Alicia joined the transmission and grid integration group at NREL in April 2013. Her current research is focused on power system impacts of integration of MW-scale wind turbines on the distribution system. Her other research interests include wide-area measurement and control systems, power system protection and power system stability.

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Aaron Bloom

Masters of Public Administration, The John Glenn School of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University
B.A., Political Science, Michigan State University

Aaron Bloom’s research focuses on market design under high penetrations of renewable energy. He approaches this problem by researching the operational impacts of renewable technologies on the power system and evaluating market designs to incentivize efficient behavior. A critical component of this research is stakeholder engagement. Aaron manages several projects that bring together stakeholders from all aspects of the power system to provide technical expertise, formulate study methods, and review final work products. Prior to joining the laboratory, Aaron worked at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. There he worked on elements of market design, tariff administration, NERC Reliability Standards, OATT compliance, and regional coordination.

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Carlo Brancucci Martínez-Anido

Ph.D., Technology, Policy and Management Faculty, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
M.Eng., Aeronautical Engineering, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Carlo joined the Transmission and Grid Integration Group at NREL in 2013. His research focuses on the impact of renewable energy on the transmission network and on the electricity market. He is currently involved in the analysis of the impact of distributed wind on New England's transmission network.

Prior to joining NREL, Carlo worked for three years as a researcher at the Joint Research Centre — Institute for Energy and Transport (JRC-IET), the in-house scientific service of the European Commission. His research focused on energy system modeling and techno-economic assessments of the European power system. His main achievement was the development of EUPowerDispatch, a minimum-cost unit commitment dispatch model of the European electricity system.

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Kara Clark, Principal Engineer

M.S., Electric Power Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Colorado

Kara joined NREL in 2011 as a principal engineer in the Transmission Grid Integration Group, working on issues related to the integration of significant levels of wind and solar generation into the bulk transmission system. She is leading Phase 3 of the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study, which is analyzing frequency response and transient stability with high renewable penetration. Prior to joining NREL, Kara worked for GE, where she was a principal contributor to many of the key U.S. wind integration studies and the development of dynamic models of wind and solar plants.

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Erik Ela, Senior Engineer

B.S., Electrical Engineering, Binghamton University
M.S., Electrical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology

Erik joined the NREL transmission and grid integration team in 2008 specializing in various topics related to integration of renewable resources and other emerging technologies onto the bulk electricity system. He is an expert in steady-state power system and optimization modeling, power system operations, and electricity market rules and operations and the impact that emerging technologies have on each of these topics. He has been part of numerous expert reviews and has presented on these topics to numerous venues both domestically and internationally. Prior to joining NREL, Erik worked for the New York ISO as the primary electrical engineer developing and improving products in the energy markets and power system operations areas. He was also responsible for energy market tariff revisions, renewable forecasting, energy management system and market management system business rule updates, market participant stakeholder interfacing, and ISO system operator training.

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Anthony Florita, Mechanical Engineer I

Ph.D. candidate, Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Nebraska
B.S., Architectural Engineering, University of Wyoming

Anthony R. Florita is an energy systems engineer and has been with NREL since 2010. His research interests include Bayesian probability, uncertainty quantification, and energy systems modeling. Anthony's current focus and projects revolve around the operational forecasting and modeling of power in the domain of solar, wind, and demand. Prior to working at NREL, he has worked at the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems and as an energy efficiency consultant.

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Vahan Gevorgian

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, State Engineering University of Armenia
M.S., Electrical Engineering, Yerevan Polytechnic Institute, Armenia
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Yerevan Polytechnic Institute, Armenia

Vahan joined NREL in October 1994 and has served many roles over the years. He is currently working with Transmission and Grid Integration group focused on renewable energy impacts on transmission and interconnection issues, and dynamic modeling of variable generation systems. He is involved with many different areas including development of 7 MVA controllable grid interface, dynamometer and field testing of large and small wind turbines, dynamometer testing of wind turbine drive train components, development of advanced data acquisition systems, and wind turbine power quality.

Vahan provides technical support to NREL industry partners and major US wind turbine manufacturers. His involvement in modeling and testing efforts for various hybrid systems and small wind turbine applications includes battery charging, ice making, and water pumping. For many years, he served as a member of the IEC wind turbine power quality standard development group. His contributions to NREL research have been recognized through multiple Outstanding Individual and Team Staff Awards.

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Bri-Mathias Hodge, Engineer

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Purdue University
M.S., Chemical Engineering, Äbo Akademi
B.Sc., Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Bri-Mathias joined the Transmission and Grid Integration Group at NREL in 2010. He has worked on a wide variety of projects in the renewables integration domain, including: wind power forecasting and resource assessment, solar power forecasting, renewable integration costs, the impacts of distributed wind on distribution and transmission level operations, the value of wind power forecasting, reserves for sub-hourly solar power variability, stochastic unit commitment, and residential demand response.

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Eduardo Ibanez, Engineer

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Iowa State University
M.S., Statistics, Iowa State University
Diploma, Industrial Engineering, Universidad Pública de Navarra

Eduardo joined NREL in 2011. He is a member of the Transmission and Grid Group. He is currently involved in the development of the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study (WWSIS). He is studying the contribution from wind and solar power to long-term system resource adequacy and is a developer of NREL's Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS).

Prior to joining NREL, Eduardo was a graduate student at Iowa State University, where he developed the National Energy and Transportation Planning tool (NETPLAN), a multi-objective, long-term investment model that aims at understanding the interdependencies between the national energy and transportation sectors and the trade-offs between cost, sustainability, and resiliency.

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Ibrahim Krad

B.S., Electrical Engineering, Louisiana State University
M.S., Power Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology
Ph.D. Candidate, Electrical Engineering, University of Denver

Ibrahim is working in the Transmission and Grid Integration Group focusing on integration challenges of renewable energy resources. Currently, he works on quantifying the value of pumped storage hydro plants in the current electricity market environment.

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Michael Milligan, Principal Analyst

Ph.D., Economics, University of Colorado, Boulder
M.A., Economics, University of Colorado, Denver
B.A., Mathematics, Philosophy, Albion College

Michael Milligan is part of the Transmission and Grid Integration Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he has worked on various aspects of electricity supply related to wind and solar energy since 1992. He has authored or coauthored more than 165 reports and book chapters and has served on numerous technical review committees for wind integration studies around the United States. He currently serves on the leadership team for the Variable Generation Subcommittee for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and serves on Operating and Market Interface committees at the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. Michael also represents the U.S. in the International Energy Agency Task 25 on Large-Scale Wind Integration, leading and participating in several international papers. He is also a charter member of the IEEE Wind and Solar Power Coordinating Committee, and a member of the IEEE LOLEWG.

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Eduard Muljadi, Senior Engineer

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.Sc., Electrical Engineering, Surabaya Institute of Technology

Ed joined the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in 1992. He is currently a member of the Transmission Grid Integration Group at NREL. His research projects are in the fields of electric machines, power electronics, and power systems with emphasis on renewable energy applications. He has been involved with many different projects for industry and utilities, including variable speed wind turbine development, electric machine design and optimization, isolated operations (battery charging, self-excitation, and water pumping), and wind power plant design (collector system equivalent), operation, dynamic model development, and system integration. He has written numerous publications and was the recipient of an IEEE-Prize paper. He holds two patents in renewable energy power conversion for a variable speed wind turbine generator and a peak power tracker for photovoltaic applications. Ed frequently collaborates with the Utility Wind Integration Group, Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Midwest ISO, and ERCOT in the area of dynamic modeling and analysis.

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Anirudh "AP" Paduru

M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of New Orleans
B.Tech., Electronics and Communication Engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University

AP joined NREL in 2012 where his research focus is on grid integration with special emphasis on renewable energy. He is currently working on renewable energy integration projects such as California Grid Integration Analysis, and Bulk System Generation Integration for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). AP is using the FESTIV model to understand the impacts of variability and uncertainty of renewable energy resources on operating reserves requirements of the bulk electric system. He also provides direct technical assistance at the request of DOE's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. Prior to joining NREL, AP worked for Baltimore Gas and Electric as a Senior Transmission Operations Engineer.

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Mohit Singh, Postdoctoral Researcher

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
MS.E., Electrical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
B.e., Electrical Engineering, Delhi College of Engineering, New Delhi, India

Mohit joined the Transmission and Grid Integration Group at NREL in August 2011. His current research is focused on wind turbine generator modeling, dynamic modeling of the power system and renewable energy sources, real-time and hardware-in-the-loop modeling of power system components, and advanced control schemes for wind power plants and wind turbines. His other research interests include power quality effects of renewables, wide-area measurements and control, and power system protection.

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Gregory B. Stark, Senior Engineer

M.S., Management (MBA), Purdue University
M.S., Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Purdue University

Greg's research focuses on the commercial and engineering aspects of integrating new generation into existing electrical grids, approaching the subject from a combined systems engineering and economics perspective. His most recent work has been in the area of integration costs associated with mixing various generation technologies in a transmission system.

Prior to his work in grid integration, Greg worked in NREL's Commercial Buildings group, where his research work concentrated on multi-building, multi-block approaches to reducing energy use, community scale modeling and optimization, and the optimization of how groups of buildings interact with the grid.

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Jie Zhang, Postdoctoral Researcher

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, China
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, China

Jie joined the NREL Transmission and Grid Integration Group in 2012. He is also an adjunct assistant professor in the National Wind Resource Center at Texas Tech University. His research expertise and interests are multidisciplinary design optimization, complex engineered systems, big data analytics, wind energy, solar energy, and power and energy systems. This research has resulted in more than 60 peer-reviewed publications.

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Yingchen (YC) Zhang, Power Systems Research Engineer

Ph.D. Electrical Engineering - Power Systems, Virginia Tech
M.S. Electrical Engineering - Power Systems, Virginia Tech
B.S., Electrical Engineering, Tianjin University

YC joined NREL in 2012. He is a member of the Transmission Grid Integration group and is currently working on variety of topics related to the integration of renewable resources onto power system, including: the impact of large-scale integration of renewable energies on power system frequency response, stability monitoring and analysis of a system with high renewable penetration, the interaction between primary and secondary reserves, wide-area monitoring and synchrophasor measurements' applications on renewable integrations, and the planning and market issues related to renewable integration. YC previously worked for the California ISO developing and implementing state estimator and network applications, such as dispatcher load flow, contingency analysis, voltage security assessment, dynamic security assessment, and dispatcher training simulators. He was also responsible for the ISO's network models and SCADA database development. He was a key member in developing and implementing synchrophasor technology into the ISO's operation system. YC is a member of IEEE and the Power and Energy Society.