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Elaine Hale

Senior Research Engineer

| 303-384-7812

Elaine Hale is a member of the Economics and Forecasting Group in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center.

Elaine is an interdisciplinary systems researcher currently focused on understanding potential roles for flexible and demand-side technologies in future power systems with more variable renewable generation. With a background in control and optimization algorithm development, since joining NREL Elaine has enabled and conducted large-scale analysis of complex engineering systems, and systems of systems. She has helped found or has been a key early developer of multiple innovative software tools created at NREL:

  • OpenStudio (SDK for building energy analysis)
  • Integrated Grid Modeling System (IGMS) (co-simulation of transmission and distribution systems;
  • Resource Planning Model (RPM) (capacity expansion modeling for regional power systems)
  • dsgrid (high-resolution energy demand and load flexibility modeling).

She has also conducted analysis, facilitated model connections, or otherwise collaborated on work products that have used many other tools across the load modeling (e.g., ResStock, ComStock, EVI-Pro, IGATE-E, BEopt), grid modeling (e.g., PLEXOS, FESTIV, GridLAB-D), and site-level energy modeling (e.g., SAM, REopt) spaces.

Areas of Expertise

Mathematical modeling, simulation, and optimization of complex engineering systems

Computer programming and software tool development

Grid integration analysis, building energy analysis

Optimization algorithms for large-scale and uncertain nonlinear programming

Research Interests

Design, planning, and policy related to renewable energy and energy efficiency integration into new and existing energy systems
Modeling energy systems across multiple geographic and temporal scales
Efficient development and distribution of software tools for solving complex engineering problems


Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 2005

M.S. in Chemical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX, 2004

B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 2000

Prior Work Experience

Pfeiffer/VIGRE Instructor, Dept. of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University, Houston, TX (2005-2008)

Lab Assistant II, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (2000)

Engineering Co-op, Ethicon, Inc., Cornelia, GA (1997-1999)

Selected Software








Featured Work

Hale, Elaine, Lori Bird, Rajaraman Padmanabhan, and Christina Volpi. Potential Roles for Demand Response in High-Growth Electric Systems with Increasing Shares of Renewable Generation. Technical Report NREL/TP-6A20-71492. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO. December 2018.

Hale, Elaine, Henry Horsey, Brandon Johnson, Matteo Muratori, Eric Wilson, Brennan Borlaug, Craig Christensen, Amanda Farthing, Dylan Hettinger, Andrew Parker, Joseph Robertson, Michael Rossol, Gord Stephen, Eric Wood, Baskar Vairamohan.  The Demand-side Grid (dsgrid) Model Documentation. Technical Report NREL/TP-6A20-71492. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO. August 2018.

Hale, Elaine, Brady Stoll, and Joshua Novacheck. Integrating Solar into Florida’s Power System: Potential Roles for Flexibility. Solar Energy, 170 741-751, August 2018.

Palmintier, Bryan, Elaine Hale, Timothy Hansen, Wesley Jones, David Biagioni, Harry Sorensen, Hongyu Wu, and Bri-Mathias Hodge. IGMS: An Integrated ISO-to-Appliance Scale Grid Modeling System. IEEE Transactions on the Smart Grid-Special Issue on High Performance Computing (HPC) Applications for a More Resilient and Efficient Power Grid, 8(3) 1525-1534, May 2017.

Hale, Elaine, Brady Stoll, and Trieu Mai. 2016. Capturing the Impact of Storage and Other Flexible Technologies on Electric System Planning. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A20-65726.

O'Connell, Niamh, Elaine Hale, Ian Doebber, and Jennie Jorgenson. 2015. On the Inclusion of Energy-Shifting Demand Response in Production Cost Models: Methodology and a Case Study. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A20-64465.

Hale, Elaine, Lars Lisell, D. Goldwasser, Daniel Macumber, Jesse Dean, Ian Metzger, Andrew Parker, Nicholas Long, Brian Ball, Marjorie Schott, Evan Weaver, and Larry Brackney.  Cloud-Based Model Calibration Using OpenStudio: Preprint. Paper presented at the eSim 2014, Ottawa, Ontario, May 2014. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/CP-5500-61420.

Hale, Elaine T., Daniel L. Macumber, Kyle Benne, and David Goldwasser. Scripted Building Energy Modeling and Analysis. Paper presented at the SimBuild 2012, 5th National Conference of IBPSA-USA, Madison, WI, August 2012. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/CP-5500-54774.

Hale, Elaine T. and Nicholas L. Long.  Enumerating a Diverse Set of Building Designs using Discrete Optimization.  In Proceedings of SimBuild 2010, 4th National Conference of IBPSA-USA, New York, NY, August 2010. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/CP-5500-48386.

Hale, Elaine T., and Yin Zhang. Case Studies for a first-order robust nonlinear programming formulation, Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications 134, no. 1 (2007): 27-45.

View all NREL publications for Elaine Hale.