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Energy Systems Integration Facility

R&D Magazine's 2014
Laboratory of the Year.
Read more.

NREL's multistory Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) provides laboratory and office space for approximately 200 NREL researchers and support staff. The 182,500-ft2 building houses research to overcome challenges related to the interconnection of distributed energy systems and the integration of renewable energy technologies into the electricity grid.

Learn about the ESIF's current partners and how to work with the ESIF.

View the Welcome to the ESIF video on NREL's Public Relations channel on YouTube.

Photo of a man standing in front of a wall of computer racks loaded with equipment.
Photo of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and NREL Director Dan Arvizu talking as they walk down a hall.
Photo of a large monitor that spans a long wall. On its screen is high-resolution data output from experiments.
Aerial photo of the Energy Systems Integration Facility.
Photo of a man wearing 3D glasses standing in a visualization laboratory that projects an image of the velocity field from a wind turbine.
Photo of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle charging in a large bay lined with pipes and catwalks.
Photo of two men wearing 3D glasses standing in a visualization laboratory that projects an image of the molecular model of polymeric organic nitroxide radical film.
Photo of the exterior of the Energy Systems Integration Facility.
Photo of the Energy Systems Integration Lab, which is a large, multistory room with equipment installed throughout. A catwalk lines one wall, and pipes run across the ceiling and down the walls.
Photo of three people gathered around a laptop computer on a table in a bright, open meeting space.
Photo of the exterior of the Energy Systems Integration Facility.
Photo of two men working on a portable table between two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Photo of a man operating a robot that simulates refueling of a hydrogen vehicle.
A large machine arm.
Photo of Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz speaking behind a podium with the Department of Energy seal.
Photo of an open, sun-filled work area of cubicles.
Photo of a man plugging in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to charge.
Photo of two people in lab coats and gloves lifting a sample from a metal container to test corrosion.
Photo of a large metal cabinet that contains wiring and electrical components, including a 60-kW PV-battery-diesel hybrid power system.
Photos of two men working behind a long table lined with computers and monitors. Two large monitors display data on the wall above.

Unique Capabilities

The ESIF houses a broad array of capabilities and laboratories focused on energy integration research. Unique capabilities include:

  • Hardware-in-the-Loop at Megawatt-Scale Power

    Megawatt-scale power-in-the-loop allows researchers and manufacturers to conduct integration tests at full power and actual load levels in real-time simulations and evaluate component and system performance before going to market.

  • High-Performance Computing Data Center

    Petascale computing at the High-Performance Computing Data Center enables unprecedented large-scale modeling and simulation of material properties, processes, and fully integrated systems that would otherwise be too expensive, too dangerous, or even impossible to study by direct experimentation.

  • Uniquely Connected

    Each lab in the ESIF has its own niche with different kinds of equipment and functionality fostering research on all aspects of energy integration. The Research Electrical Distribution Bus, the ultimate power integration circuit, is made up of two AC and two DC ring buses that connect multiple sources of energy and interconnect "plug-and-play" testing components in all the labs.

  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System

    Integrated throughout the ESIF, a SCADA system monitors and controls the Research Electrical Distribution Bus operations and safety and gathers real-time, high-resolution data for collaboration and visualization.

  • Data Analysis and Visualization

    Analysis and visualization capabilities at the ESIF go beyond what is found in a typical utility operations center. Fully integrated with hardware-in-the-loop at power capabilities, an electrical distribution bus, a SCADA system, and petascale computing, the ESIF allows researchers and NREL partners to visualize complex systems and operations in a completely virtual environment.


NREL sponsored ESIF workshops to solicit insight from energy stakeholders and potential partners on the design and functionality of the facility, to identify priority R&D needs related to transforming our nation's energy system, and to raise awareness of the ESIF's innovative capabilities and partnering opportunities.

News and Media Contacts

Find ESIF news and information for the media in the Energy Systems Integration Facility newsroom.

More Information

To learn more about the Energy Systems Integration Facility, contact Carolyn Elam by email or by phone at 303-275-3036.