Sara Farrar

Senior Project Leader


Sara Farrar is a Senior Project Leader in the Integrated Applications Center, currently with the Solar Energy Innovation Network and Solar District Cup programs.

Her previous experience includes leading the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon and Race to Zero competitions as well as implementing sustainability strategies at federal facilities through energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, commissioning, operations, and programs. She also previously led the Building America public-private partnership to research and optimize the energy efficiency performance of residential buildings.  Prior to joining NREL, Sara provided building audit, modeling, and technology transfer services for energy efficiency technologies with Environmental Research Groups International, Inc.  She is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Research Interests

Increasing sustainability of the built environment including building energy efficiency and distributed solar energy generation

Grid-interactive buildings

Industry partnerships to advance and accelerate integration of energy efficiency and distributed energy generation

Engineering design competitions as a pathway for workforce development in the clean energy industry


B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University

Featured Work

“U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition Guide” (2018, 2017, 2016)

“Building America is Driving Real Solutions in the Race to Zero Energy Homes Annual Report” and Appendix, NREL Technical Report (2016)

“U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon,” Presenter, Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office: Program Peer Review (2013)

View all NREL publications for Sara Farrar.