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Energy Systems Integration News

A monthly recap of the latest energy systems integration (ESI) developments at NREL and around the world.

May 2016

Read the latest ESI news from NREL.

Photo of a man giving a tour in the Energy Systems Integration Facility

ESIF Hosts Visitors to the First-Ever National Lab Impact Summit

Nearly 300 peoplefrom industry, government, academia, media, and national laboratoriesconvened at NREL on May 4, 2016, for discussions and exhibitions related to the first-ever U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) National Lab Impact Summit.

The event highlighted and showcased some of what EERE Assistant Secretary David Danielson referred to as the "amazing results" of partnerships between national laboratories and the private sectorand opportunities for further collaboration. The Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) was highlighted via an open house and special VIP tour.

"The national labs have a lot of very cool technology," said NREL Director Martin Keller, "and we are ready to work with industry to help implement and bring this technology into the market."

"Our primary purpose and goal for today is to create an environment where we can take those partnerships to a whole new level, both in terms of the quantity of those relationships and the quality," said Danielson at the event.

Danielson specifically called out NREL Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Systems Integration Bryan Hannegan for his work to pull together 14 national laboratories on the Grid Modernization Initiative. And by all accounts, the summit was a tremendous success.

"From Governor Hickenlooper to Assistant Secretary Danielson, the accolades continue to roll in," said Keller. "The event was filled with superlative comments from attendees about the program and the exhibits."

Read more about the event.

NREL ESI Engineers Team with University to Develop and Teach Courses on Renewable Integration

Researchers from NREL's Power Systems Engineering Center are working with faculty in the Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering Department at the University of Colorado Boulder to develop courses that focus on integrating renewable energy in electric power systems. These classes will allow students to learn the latest on topics that are relevant to both active students and industry regarding power systems and renewable energy.

Developed and taught by NREL researchers, the courses will focus on grid integration and will include: Renewable Energy and the Future of the Power Grid, Power Systems Analysis, Advanced in Control and Optimization of Power Systems, and Control of Power Electronics in AC Systems and Microgrids. These courses will be part of a Professional Master's Program in Power Electronics offered through the university.

Get more information on the program.

We're Hiring: Open Positions on NREL's ESI Staff

NREL's ESI program is looking for talented engineers and researchers to join our team. Open positions include:

Get the full list of job postings and learn more about working at NREL.

NREL Contributes Solar Grid Integration Expertise to New DOE SunShot Study

NREL authored several pieces of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) newly released On the Path to SunShot report series, including key insights on emerging issues and challenges with integrating solar into the electric system.

The reports examine the state of the U.S. solar energy industry and the progress made to date toward the DOE SunShot Initiative's goal to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by 2020. The solar industry is currently about 70% of the way towards achieving the Initiative's 2020 goals, but as solar has become more affordable, helping the industry grow by an astonishing 23-fold since the beginning of the Obama Administration, new challenges and opportunities have emerged.

The reports explore the lessons learned in the first 5 years of the 10-year Initiative and identify key research, development, and market opportunities that can help to ensure that solar energy technologies are widely affordable and available to power millions more American homes and businesses. The series was produced through a collaborative effort by researchers at NREL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Argonne National Laboratory.

Read more about the reports and NREL's contributions in the area of grid integration.

Attend Our July Workshop on Security and Resilience of the Grid with DERs

NREL's Cyber-Physical Systems Security and Resilience team is hosting a workshop at the Energy Systems Integration Facility July 13 and 14, 2016, to discuss current and future R&D to secure the nation's infrastructure with increasing distributed energy resource (DER) integration.

Learn more about the event and register to attend.

NREL Researchers Represent Lab at DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Meeting This Month

Members of NREL's Power Systems Engineering Center's Sensing, Measurement, and Forecasting (SMF) group participate as mentors for radiometric measurements in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program. NREL's Mike Dooraghi and Mark Kutchenreiter attended the ARM/Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Joint User Facility/Principal Investigator Meeting in Vienna, Virginia, the week of May 2, 2016. This meeting enables the program/facility to maintain its status as a world leader in climate research.

Dooraghi and Kutchenreiter presented on traceable pyrgeometer calibrations, improvements in solar radiometer ventilator performance, and the startup and status of longwave radiometer calibration capabilities at the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) Radiometric Calibration Facility in Billings, Okahoma. The ARM program provides high-quality radiometric data from instruments deployed at SGP; Oliktok and Barrow, Alaska; the Azores; and at mobile facilities operating in Macquarie Island, Ascension Island, and Antarctica. The SMF group, in conjunction with the NREL Metrology Laboratory, provides Broadband Outdoor Radiometer Calibrations (BORCAL), traceable to the World Radiometric Reference (WRR), at the Solar Radiation Research Laboratory for radiometers owned by NREL and those submitted by numerous organizations and manufacturers.

Final DOE Grid Modernization Regional Workshop in Palo Alto June 7 and 8

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Grid Modernization Initiative, the Department has been convening industry stakeholders across the United States in a series of regional workshops in the past few months. The workshops are being held to gather feedback on DOE's grid-related research and demonstration strategy, and provide opportunities for stakeholders to inform DOE on the grid-related technical challenges and emerging policy issues confronting each region and the nation as a whole.

The final regional session will be held in Palo Alto, California, on June 7 and 8, 2016. Learn more about the workshops at

First iiESI Member Meeting to be Held in Boston in July

The International Institute for Energy Systems Integration (iiESI) will hold its first-ever member meeting in July 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. iiESI is an international community of researchers collaborating to address global energy challenges.

Get more information on becoming a member of this growing global collaboration at

Watch: Steve Hammond Presents to Capitol Hill on National Labs' HPC Capabilities

On April 28, 2016, NREL Computational Science Director Steve Hammond participated on the panel "The Vital Importance of High-Performance Computing to U.S. Competitiveness and National Security," hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, DC.

The panel briefed Capitol Hill on why high-performance computing (HPC) is increasingly vital to America's economic competitiveness, science leadership, and national security. Hammond presented on how NREL's HPC capabilitiesincluding the Peregrine supercomputer at the Energy Systems Integration Facilityare helping the national labs' R&D advance the nation's clean energy goals.

Watch a video of the discussion; the panel begins around 28 minutes in.

Catch Up on the Latest Journal Articles from NREL's ESI Researchers

Catch up on recently released peer-reviewed articles authored by NREL ESI staff:

Find more ESI publications.

Watch Recent Webinars from NREL's Smart Grid Educational Series

NREL recently kicked off a new series of webinars on smart grid-related topics featuring speakers from the lab and industry check out the recordings if you've missed any of the live presentations.