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NREL's state-of-the-art research facilities provide the venue for groundbreaking innovations and collaboration in energy systems integration.

Energy Systems Integration Facility

Photo of the Energy Systems Integration Facility building.

The Energy Systems Integration Facility at NREL is the newest U.S. Department of Energy user facility and the only one in the nation focused on utility-scale clean energy grid integration.
Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) houses research to overcome challenges related to the interconnection of distributed energy systems with and the integration of clean energy technologies into the electricity grid. At the ESIF, researchers collaborate with industry and utilities to design, test, and analyze components and systems to enable economic, reliable integration of clean electricity, fuel production, storage, and building efficiency technologies with the U.S. electricity delivery infrastructure.

Controllable Grid Interface

Located at NREL's National Wind Technology Center, the Controllable Grid Interface test system is a combination of hardware and real-time control software for simulating how multi-megawatt wind turbines, solar inverters, energy storage systems, and other electrical equipment interact with the power grid, while also testing and quantifying the performance of renewable generation during grid disturbances.

Distributed Energy Resources Test Facility

Located at the National Wind Technology Center, NREL's Distributed Energy Resources Test Facility 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.

Thermal Test Facility

NREL's Thermal Test Facility is a flexible, multipurpose, multi-laboratory facility that enables detailed evaluation and development of building and thermal energy systems. Scientists at this living laboratory develop optimal solutions for managing energy flows within buildings and transportation systems.

Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility

At NREL's Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility, researchers collaborate with automakers, charging station manufacturers, utilities, and fleet operators to assess charging, communication, and control technology and modify plug-in electric vehicles to play an active role in building and grid management.

Energy Storage Laboratory

In the Energy Storage Laboratory at NREL's Thermal Test Facility, researchers partner with the world’s leading battery and electric vehicle manufacturers to improve the thermal performance, capacity, longevity, and durability of energy storage systems for future transportation technologies.


Located in Aurora, Colorado, the Solar Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC) is an integrated, world-class test facility where the solar industry can research, test, validate, and demonstrate photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies.