Jarrad Wright

Jarrad Wright

Researcher IV-Model Engineering


Jarrad Wright is a senior engineer in the Transmission Group within the Grid Planning and Analysis Center at NREL. Jarrad predominantly works in improving the understanding of power system integration across generation, transmission, and distribution.  This is undertaken by applying advanced modelling and simulation tools to optimally plan for, design, and analyze transmission, distribution, and bulk power systems to push the boundaries of innovation, integrated analysis, and computational tool development. He is a qualified electrical engineer with a Ph.D. from WITS University in South Africa and has almost 15 years of industry experience in the private and public sector. He is also a member of CIGRE and IEEE actively contributing to CIGRE working groups and was the national representative for South Africa in Study Committee C5 (electricity markets and regulation) from 2016–2022.  He has extensive energy sector experience in 11 African countries predominantly involved energy systems operations and planning, sector-coupling, system stability, network planning, resource forecasting, storage and enabling market arrangements. Between 2014 and 2015, Jarrad established a presence of Energy Exemplar (the developer and distributor of the PLEXOS Integrated Energy Model software) on the African continent as a regional manager. He was based at the CSIR Energy Centre in Pretoria, South Africa between 2015–2021 as a principal engineer and was a commissioner on the South African National Planning Commission (NPC) as appointed by the President of South Africa.

Research Interests

Renewable energy integration

Transmission integration

Power systems design and studies

Integrated energy systems

Power market design


Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand

M.Sc., Electrical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand

B.Sc., Electrical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand

Professional Experience

Commissioner, The Presidency: National Planning Commission (NPC) of South Africa (2015–2021)

Principal Researcher, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (2015–2021)

Regional Manager and Senior Consultant, Energy Exemplar (2014–2015)

Studies Engineer, Parsons Brinckerhoff (2010–2014)

Associations and Memberships

Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Member, IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES)

Member, CIGRE (Conseil International des Grands Réseaux Électriques)