Aryana Nakhai

Aryana Nakhai

Researcher II-Electrical Engineering


Aryana Nakhai joined NREL in 2021 and is a techno-economic analyst and research engineer in the hydropower and water systems deployment group.

Her educational background is in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, with a concentration in power systems and renewable energy. Her master's thesis is a social, technical, and economic analysis of a microgrid system designed to address water poverty and resiliency concerns for off-grid rural communities in the U.S.

At NREL, her research involves helping marine energy technologies get to a point of technical reliability and robustness, while being cost-effective enough to reach commercialization. Specifically, her work covers techno-economic analysis, cost modeling, data collection and processing, technical writing, electrical design, as well as identifying research area needs from an electrical engineering perspective that will help guide other researchers, industry members, and project developers in the field toward technological advancements.

Research Interests

Techno-economic modeling of renewable energy systems

Data analysis

Clean energy project financing


MBA, Finance, University of Colorado Boulder

M.S., Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Featured Work

Techno-Economic Analysis of a Microgrid System for Rural Communities in the United States, 2023 IEEE Green Technologies Conference (2023)

Techno-Economic Implications of Electrical Machine Scaling for Wave Energy Converters, OCEANS 2022 Hampton Roads Conference (2022)

Summary Report of HERO WEC Test Article for Waves to Water: Electrical Power Take-Off, NREL Technical Report (2022)