Photo of Richard DeBlasio

Richard DeBlasio

Research Fellow Emeritus


Richard (Dick) DeBlasio is a Research Fellow Emeritus in the Energy Systems Integration (ESI) Directorate, Center for Power Systems Engineering at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and a member of the NREL Research Fellows Council that reports to the Science and Technology Deputy Director.

He is an expert in renewable electricity, end use systems applications, and distributed energy resources.

An NREL employee since 1978, Mr. DeBlasio is currently the Chief Engineer for Renewable Electricity and End Use Systems with the lab, after serving 10 years as the principal laboratory program manager for NREL's electricity research and development programs. Under DeBlasio's leadership, electricity research at NREL helped develop interconnection technology and validate testing methods that are adopted by government and industry on a national and international level. He established the PV Outdoor Test Facility (OTF) in 1994, as well as the Distributed Energy Research Test Facility. These two facilities contributed to the development of the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) in 2013.

DeBlasio is a life senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member of the IEEE Standards Board, and a member of the Board of Governors. He is a liaison to the DOE and chairs the IEEE Standards Board Coordinating Committee (SCC21) on Fuel Cells, Photovoltaics, Distributed Power, and Energy Storage. In 1999, DeBlasio initiated the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Distributed Power Program, now called Distributed Energy Resources (DER), and conducted foundational distributed electric research. Earlier in his career at NREL (1978-1999), DeBlasio led the photovoltaic (PV) module and systems performance, engineering, and reliability project. He initiated the effort to establish international PV standards (IEC TC 82), serving as project chair from 1996 to 2002.

Combined with program development at NREL, DeBlasio's foundational power systems engineering research brought him to lead development for the IEEE 1547 (Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power System) in 2003. This project removed many of the technical barriers to using renewable energy sources to complement central power systems, and it has become the national standard for interconnection. In 2011, DeBlasio initiated and chaired the effort to develop the IEEE 2030 standard for power systems, communication, and information technology interoperability the IEEE foundational standard for Smart Grid modernization.

Professional Experience

Trained in electrical and electronics engineering, DeBlasio has worked in various leadership positions at NREL (and SERI) since 1978. These included research and development capabilities, establishing facilities for solar and renewable energy development through design, innovation, validation testing and standards, and real world applications.

Prior to joining SERI, DeBlasio was a senior nuclear research engineer with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in Washington, D.C. (1974 to 1978), addressing nuclear power reactor safety. He was a project manager with Underwriters Laboratories (1972-1974) and addressed electrical safety regarding medical electronic devices, and he was a member of the nuclear engineering research staff at Stanford University (1965-1972). At Stanford, he was responsible for the Nuclear Engineering Radiation Laboratory for operation and experiments, including external funded research and services. DeBlasio served in the U.S. Air Force as a radar/electronics specialist from 1961 to 1965.

Areas of Expertise

  • Provided foundational research in electrical engineering and technology and their application to practical solutions to renewable energy systems' efficiency, reliability, and cost reduction.
  • Established electrical power system interoperability/interconnection standards of renewable electric systems in North America and on a global scale.
  • Established major programs for PV module performance and reliability, including national and international professional standards groups.
  • Provided leadership in the establishment of NREL's outdoor test facility (OTF) and Distributed Energy Research Test Facility (DERFT)
  • Provided nuclear reactor research for commercial power production and safety systems, providing foundational engineering in measurement techniques, instrumentation, and single failure criteria system designs.
  • Established medical electronics safety systems.
  • Utilized advanced radar and microwave applications and concepts for underground high voltage transmission and solar space satellite applications, including simulation and field applications for heavy-ground radar systems and electronic countermeasures.

International Contributions

  • Established the IEC TC82 secretariat in 1981 and served as chair (International Electro-technical Commission for Technical Committee 82 on Solar PV Systems) and IEC JCG (Joint Coordinating group) for international standards development for Renewable Energy systems and Decentralized Power Systems from 1998-2004.
  • Acted as principal national and international architect in the establishment of Power Mark Corporation for national PV module and system performance certification
  • DOE expert member of the IEA (International Energy Agency) Task 17 on Integration of DSM, DG, Efficiency, Renewable, and Energy Storage.
  • Attended Energy Summit in Brazil, 1991, to provide seminars on PV system design and village applications to the CEPEL engineers in Rio. Assisted engineers at two utilities to design, procure, and build village power systems (lighting, vaccine refrigeration, and communications) in response to the presidential agreement at that time.
  • Served as PV expert for systems on the SOLARIS project (covering PV, solar, agricultural systems, etc.) between the U.S., and Saudi Arabia. Led the US evaluation team (SERI, Sandia, JPL, Oak Ridge, and Saudi R&D team) in Saudi Arabia in 1981 to evaluate the first solar village power system that powered three villageswhat is now known as an early micro grid design.


  • B.S. 1972 Santa Clara University, Santa Clara California (Electrical Engineering)
  • Associate Degree 1961 Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Electronics Technology)
  • Certificate 1971 MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Nuclear Reactor Safety Program)

Associations and Accreditations/Memberships

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standards Board and Board of Governors Member
  • Life senior member of the IEEE
  • Founding member Underwriters Laboratories Industrial Advisory group (IAG-1703/1741) for PV module and inverter power electronics performance safety
  • Charter member Karl Boer Solar Energy Medal of merit awards commission representing the IEEE
  • Member of the Board of Directors for PVGAP (PV Global Approval Program) and Power Mark Corporation
  • Member and expert advisor for IEC TC-8 on Distributed Systems
  • Co-editor of the International Journal of Distributed Energy Resources



Journal Papers and Conference Proceedings

  • DeBlasio, R; Mazy, A.; Malme, R.; Malcom, W.; Petrill, E.; Lings, R.; Cluff, G.; Hughes, J.; Koepfinger, J. (2006). "California: A Problem, a Solution, and a Program." Fortnightly Spark, Letter #29.
  • DeBlasio, R.; Kroposki, B.; Basso, T.; Friedman, R. (2006). "Interconnection of Alternative Energy Sources with the Grid", Chapter 14. , Farret, F. et al, eds. Integration of Alternative Sources of Energy. Wiley-IEEE Press; pp. 354 to 378.
  • DeBlasio, R.; Kroposki, B.; Pink, C.; Thomas, H.; Simoes, M.; Sen, P.K. (June 2006). "Benefits of Power Electronics Interfaces for Distributed Energy Systems." IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting. Montreal, Canada.
  • DeBlasio, R.; Basso, T. (December 2004). "Standardization on DER." First International Conference on the Integration of Renewable Energy Sources and Distributed Energy Resources. Brussels, Belgium. Proceedings pp. 236-243.
  • Basso, T.; DeBlasio, R. (2004). "IEEE 1547 Series of Standards: Interconnection Issues." IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics (19:5); pp. 1159-1162.
  • DeBlasio, R.; Thornton, J.; Taylor, R. (1992). "Recent Advances in Photovoltaic Applications for Utilities." Chapter 2. Advances in Solar Energy: An Annual Review of Research and Development. Vol. 7, Boulder, CO: American Solar Energy Society, Inc.; pp. 19-72.
  • DeBlasio,, "Objectives and Results of the PEP'87 Round-Robin Calibration of Reference Solar Cells and Modules." (1990). 21st IEEE PV Specialist Conference, Kissimmee, Florida, Vol. 2; pp. 952-959.
  • DeBlasio, R.; Thornton, J.; Zweibel, K. "Photovoltaics - Today's Reality, Tomorrow's Promise." (1990). Energy Engineering: Journal of the Association of Energy Engineers. (87:3); pp. 63-70.
  • DeBlasio, R.; Mrig, L.; Rummel, S.; Waddington, D. "Outdoor Stability Performance of Amorphous Silicon Modules" (1988). Solar Cells (24).
  • DeBlasio, R. Mrig, L.; Waddington, D.; Ross, R. "Proposed Acceptance, Qualification, and Characterization Tests for Thin-Film PV Modules." (1988). Presented at 20th IEEE PV Specialist Conference. Las Vegas, NV.
  • DeBlasio, R.; Waddington, D.; Mrig, L."Outdoor Performance and Stability Testing of Thin Film Devices." (1987). Solar Cells (21); pp. 343-351.
  • DeBlasio, R.; Hogan, S.J. "Photovoltaic Standards, and Update." Photovoltaic International. (3:5); pp. 3-12.
  • DeBlasio, R.; Ross, R.; Hoffman, A.; Gasner, S. (1980). "Performance Criteria and Test Standards for Photovoltaic Arrays." 1980 American Section Proceedings, International Solar Energy Society, (3.2); pp.1098- 1103.

View all NREL Publications for Richard DeBlasio.

Awards and Honors

  • 2011: Recipient of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Finnegan Standards Medal for extraordinary leadership in the actual development and application of consensus standards.
  • 2011: Received the IEEE Lifetime Achievement Award for achievements including foundational R&D and program development supporting multiple SDOs, and for creation of standards entities and personal.
  • 2011: Recognized by Fierce Energy Magazine as one of 13 nationally influential experts on energy issue.
  • 2010: Recipient of the IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Medal for contributions to the standardization and global impact of distributed electric power system technology.
  • 2004: Awarded NREL MRI/Battelle Francis Van Morris Award for outstanding leadership and sustained dedication to the growth and development of the PV Testing and Reliability, the Distributed Power, and the Distributed Energy and Electric Reliability Programs.
  • 1994: Received merit award for collaborative R&D and Standards leadership and interaction with the PV industry from the Federal Laboratory Consortium.