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Nate Blair

Group Manager - Distributed Systems and Storage Analysis


Nate Blair is the group manager of the Distributed Systems and Storage Group in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center.

Areas of Expertise

Linear programming with General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS)
Solar system modeling tools including PVWatts, System Advisor Model (SAM), Solar Prospector, URDB
Concentrating solar power systems
Personnel Management
Project Management

Research Interests

Techno-economic analysis
Photovoltaics, onshore and offshore wind, geothermal power, electricity storage
Electric grid capacity expansion modeling
International Energy Sector Analysis and Development
Building energy efficiency


M.B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, 2002
M.S.M.E., University of Wisconsin-Madison Engineering School, Solar Energy Laboratory, 1993
B.A. Physics, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1992

Prior Work Experience

Energy Expert, Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), World Bank, Washington, DC (on assignment from NREL), 2015–2016
Intern, Global Energy Partners, LLC (June 2001August 2001)
Intern, Sandia National Lab - Concentrating Solar Power Group (May 2000–August 2000)
Project Engineer, Thermal Energy System Specialists (August 1998November 1999)
Visiting Researcher, Center for Science and Technologies in Buildings (CSTB) (November 1997May 1998)
Visiting Researcher, Transsolar EnergiTechnik GMBH (July 1997October 1997)
TRNSYS Coordinator, UW-Madison Solar Energy Lab (19941997)
TRNSYS Coordinator Assistant, UW-Madison Solar Energy Lab (March 1994August 1994)
Staff Engineer, Energy Center of Wisconsin (March 1994August 1994)

Other Affiliations

American Solar Energy Society 
International Solar Energy Society

Featured Publications

Kelly Eurek, Wesley Cole, David Bielen, Nate Blair, Stuart Cohen, Bethany Frew, Jonathan Ho, Venkat Krishnan, Trieu Mai, Benjamin Sigrin, and Daniel Steinberg. 2016. Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) Model Documentaton: Verison 2016.  Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-6A20-67067.

Blair, Nate, Ella Zhou, Dan Getman, and Douglas Arent. 2015. Electricity Capacity Expansion Modeling, Analysis, and Visualization: A Summary of High-Renewable Modeling Experiences.  Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-6A20-64831.

Blair, Nate, Aron Dobos, Janine Freeman, Ty Neises,  Michael Wagner,  Tom Ferguson, Paul Gilman, and Steven Janzou. 2014. System Advisor Model, SAM 2014.1.14: General Description. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-6A20-61019.

Mai, Trieu, Jeffrey Logan, Nate Blair, Patrick Sullivan, and Morgan Bazilian. 2013. RE-ASSUME: A Decision Maker's Guide to Evaluating Energy Scenarios, Modeling, and Assumptions. International Energy Agency Renewable Energy Technology Deployment. 

Lopez, Anthony, Billy Roberts, Donna Heimiller, Nate Blair, and Gian Porro. 2012. U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-6A20-51946.

Wagner, Michael, Nate Blair, and Aron Dobos. 2010. Detailed Physical Trough Model for NREL's Solar Advisor Model: Preprint. 11 pp; Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/CP-5500-49368.

Blair, Nate, Thomas Jenkin, James Milford, Walter Short, Patrick Sullivan, David Evans, Elliot Lieberman, Gary Goldstein, Evelyn Wright, Kamala Jayaraman, Boddu Venkatesh, Gary Kleiman, Christoper Namovicz, Bob Smith, Karen Palmer, Ryan Wiser, Frances Wood. 2009. Renewable Energy and Efficiency Modeling Analysis Partnership (REMAP): An Analysis of How Different Energy Models Addressed a Common High Renewable Energy Penetration Scenario in 2025. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-6A2-45656.

Blair, Nate, Mark Mehos, Craig Christensen, and Craig Cameron. 2008. Modeling Photovoltaic and Concentrating Solar Power Trough Performance, Cost, and Financing with the Solar Advisor Model: Preprint. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/CP-670-42922.

Gilman, Paul, Nate Blair, Mark Mehos, Craig Christensen, Steve Janzou, and Chris Cameron. (2008). Solar Advisor Model User Guide for Version 2.0. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  NREL/TP-670-43704.

Blair, Nate, Mark Mehos, and Craig Christensen. 2008. Sensitivity of Concentrating Solar Power Trough Performance, Cost and Financing with Solar Advisor Model. 14th Biennial CSP SolarPACES (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems) Symposium, 4-7 March 2008, Las Vegas, Nevada. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  NREL/CP-670-42852.

Laxson, A., M.M. Hand, and Nate Blair. 2006. High Wind Penetration Impact on U.S. Wind Manufacturing Capacity and Critical Resources. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/TP-500-40482.

Blair, Nate, Mark Mehos, Walter Short, and Donna Heimiller. 2006. Concentrating Solar Deployment System (CSDS) -- A New Model for Estimating U.S. Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Market Potential: Preprint. 10 pp., Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL Report No. CP-620-39682.

Blair, Nate, Walter Short, Paul Denholm, and Donna Heimiller. 2006. "Long-Term National Impacts of State-Level Policies." (Proceedings of) Windpower 2006 Conference and Exhibition (CD-ROM, Policy Track), 4-7 June 2006, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Washington, DC: American Wind Energy Association, 17 pp.; Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/CP-640-41244.

Blair, Nate, Craig Christensen, Mark Mehos, and Steve Janzou. 2006. "Cost and Performance Solar Analysis Model for All Solar Technologies"  (ISEC2005-76207). Solar Engineering 2005: Proceedings of the 2005 International Solar Energy Conference (ISEC2005), 6-12 August 2005, Orlando, Florida. New York: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) pp. 225-228; Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  NREL/CP-620-38049.

Blair, Nate, Walter Short, Paul Denholm, and Donna Heimiller. (2006). Long-Term National Impacts of State-Level Policies: Preprint. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/CP-620-40105.

Blair, Nate, Walter Short, and Donna Heimiller. 2005. Reduced Form of Detailed Modeling of Wind Transmission and Intermittency for Use in Other Models: Preprint. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/CP-620-38139.

Stuetzle, T., Nate Blair, W.A. Beckman,  and J.W. Mitchell. 2004. "Use of Linear Predictive Control for a Solar Electric Generating System." Building Services Engineering Research and Technology 25, no. 1: 55-63.

Short, Walter, Nate Blair, and Donna Heimiller. 2003. "Long-Term Potential of Wind Power in the United States." Solar Today, November/December: 28-29. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/JA-620-34871.

Short, Walter, Nate Blair, Donna Heimiller,  and V. Singh. 2003. Modeling the Long-Term Market Penetration of Wind in the United States. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL/CP-620-34469.

Stuetzle, Thorsten, Nate Blair, John Mitchell, and William Beckman. 2003. "Automatic control of a 30 MWe SEGS VI parabolic trough plant." Solar Energy (October).

Blair, Nate,  and D.E. Bradley. 1999. Simulation Synergy; Interconnecting Simulation Programs.”Annual ASES Conference, Portland ME .

Schuler, M., H. Meyer, A. Knirsch, S. Holst, M. Hiller, W.A. Beckman, and Nate Blair.  1997. "TRNSYS 14 goes Windows and WINDOW 4.1 - Tool for Energetic and Visual Building Simulation." Building Simulation 1997 (IBPSA), Prague, Czech Republic, Vol.I: 33-40.

Quinlan, P., W.A. Beckman,  J.W. Mitchell, S.A. Klein, and Nate Blair. 1997.  "Time Series Modeling of Autonomous Hybrid Power Systems." 1997 Annual ASES Conference, Washington D.C.

Blair, Nate. M.S., 1993. "Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Transient Natural Convection in a Cylindrical Enclosure"

View all NREL publications for Nate Blair.